Staples Center Transformed Into Kobe Coliseum for Star's Final Game
LAPD will have more officers on hand this evening for the event.
Tonight will be the final NBA game for Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, and Staples Center is being transformed to honor the player who spent the past 20 years grinding for championships.
Early Wednesday morning, enormous photos and decorations of Bryant were being erected outside of Staples and inside of the 18,118-capacity arena.
Inside, Kobe's numbers, No. 8 and No. 24, were added to the hardwood. As for the celebration, Staples Center is said to have more confetti and balloons at the ready than for any previous event.
Bryant will officially hang up his sneakers after winning five NBA championships, being named an All-Star 18 times and winning Olympic gold, among numerous other accomplishments.
Los Angeles police are expecting an influx of people in the area around Staples Center this evening and have added officers so "if anything were to happen, they'll be able to respond," police said.
The exact number of additional officers was not disclosed.
The evening should bring out plenty of celebrities as well. A usual Laker game is good for star-spotting, but for this game, odds are good there will be a lot of familiar faces in the crowd.
John Black, spokesman for the Lakers, says it is nearly impossible to know beforehand which celebrities will show up because they usually acquire their tickets from sources other than the team.
Still, it's a good bet some famous die-hards will be in attendance, including Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, Tobey Maguire and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
Some tickets to the game are still available, but they are going for a small fortune. The cheapest price for a ticket to the game is $800 for a nosebleed seat, according to StubHub. The closer in, the more Benjamins will need to be dropped.
The most expensive seat listed on StubHub is courtside for $25,000. Four of those seats together are available.
Tip off is at 7:30 p.m. PT.