The day before the Clippers announced plans to explore building an arena in Inglewood, business mogul Irving Azoff floated an idea to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and top advisor Linda Rambis about a move that could undercut the Clippers and prompt a seismic shift in the Los Angeles sports landscape.
“Heres my dream,” Azoff emailed Buss and Rambis on June 14, 2017. “Rebuild the forum from scratch. Lakers plus music. boom.”
The Lakers now say that vision won’t be realized, and they are believed to be discussing an extension to their Staples Center lease that runs through the 2024-25 season.
“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.
But the emails obtained by The Times reveal the depth of the business competition between L.A.’s two NBA teams, and that Buss didn’t hesitate to discuss a move that would have left Staples Center — and downtown Los Angeles — without its marquee tenant.
Buss responded a half-hour later to the email from Azoff, who has close business ties with the Forum and its owner, Madison Square Garden Co., the New York-based sports and entertainment giant.