A collection of greatest living Lakers are expected to attend Saturday’s Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight title fight at Staples Center.
Now comes the matter of where to seat them.
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Jerry West have all committed to attend the most significant heavyweight bout on U.S. soil since Lennox Lewis knocked out Mike Tyson in Memphis in 2002.
Magic Johnson, an ardent fight fan, had yet to request a seat as of Thursday afternoon, but Lakers front-row fan and Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson is expected to be there, along with fellow Hollywood stars Mark Wahlberg, Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman.
Beyond monitoring pay-per-view and ticket buys, Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza said he expects to remain up until late Friday night to supervise the A-list seating chart.
Although they’ve all worn the purple and gold and the sight of the four together would be something to behold, it’s not a given that the Lakers greats would sit next to each other, Espinoza said.
James, Bryant and O’Neal carry the most cache. “Those guys are the biggest stars — the three biggest names — in Los Angeles … they will get premium seats, all in the first row or second row or pretty close,” Espinoza said.
“I don’t know that any of the three will be sitting right next to each other — we haven’t asked — but we probably will give them some space.”
The celebrity list also includes actor Owen Wilson, Good Morning America host and retired NFL great Michael Strahan, along with Lewis and fellow former heavyweight champions Evander Holyfield and Michael Spinks. Espinoza’s former client, Tyson, has yet to commit.
Who else could be there?
“That is a good question. It’s an open issue. As usual, we’re getting a ton of late requests,” Espinoza said. “L.A. is the home of late ticket requests, so I suppose we should’ve been prepared. … It’ll come down to a late Friday night.”