While the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers have battled for supremacy on the court, owner Steve Ballmer has been embroiled in a legal battle with Madison Square Garden Co., which owns and operates The Forum in Inglewood.
MSG purchased The Forum in 2012 and upgraded the building by investing more than $100 million. Since that time, the famed arena has welcomed a slew of musicians, award shows and professional sporting events.
But with Ballmer having purchased land down the street from The Forum, his intention to move the Clippers to Inglewood sparked a legal battle. MSG alleges the City of Inglewood purposely kept them uniformed of planned negotiations with Ballmer and the Clippers.
As that rages on with lawsuits and countersuits, businessman Irving Azoff contacted Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and special projects manager Linda Rambis to gauge their interest in moving the team back to The Forum, per Nathan Feno of the L.A. Times:
“Heres my dream,” Azoff emailed Buss and Rambis on June 14, 2017. “Rebuild the forum from scratch. Lakers plus music. boom.”
“We will either keep it exactly as it is or build a beautiful new building for lakers and music,” Azoff continued in the email to Buss. “We have years to decide but we are going to design it now anyway just in case.”
The Lakers confirmed contact with MSG but dismissed a potential return:
“MSG approached the Lakers about the possibility of returning to the Forum following the end of our Lease at Staples Center in 2025, but nothing came from the discussions,” the team said Wednesday in a statement.
The Lakers initially played seven seasons at the Sports Arena upon moving to Los Angeles from Minneapolis. They moved into the Forum in 1967, where they won six championships prior to relocating to Staples Center in 1999.
1967, after the franchise played seven years at the Sports Arena following the 1960 move from Minneapolis. The team won six NBA championships at the Forum before moving to Staples Center in 1999.
The Lakers last played at The Forum in a preseason game prior to the 2009-10 campaign. Kyle Kuzma hoped the team would return their for a game this season, though to no avail.