Lakers ticket prices skyrocket as LeBron James nears scoring record

Lakers star LeBron James warms up before a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 30.
Lakers star LeBron James warms up before a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 30. James is 36 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA all-time scoring record.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Want to be part of NBA history this week? It’s going to cost you.

LeBron James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer won’t rival the stub-sanity of a Taylor Swift concert tour, but it’s obvious courtside glitterati aren’t the only ones willing to pay big to watch the Lakers star score his 38,388th career point.

James is poised to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s all-time scoring mark this week after his 27-point performance Saturday in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. James is 36 points away from the record, and that has caused some significant ripples in the NBA ticket market.

The average ticket price for Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder is 50% higher than the season average and tickets for Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks are 70% higher, according to ticket marketplace StubHub.


Those steep increases have made the Lakers the hottest ticket in the NBA. According to StubHub, the Lakers sold more tickets last week than the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics combined. Not bad for a 13th-place team.

“The anticipation of a sports icon accomplishing a historical milestone often dramatically boosts ticket sales so real fans can say ‘I was there when,’” said Adam Budelli, StubHub spokesperson.

James’ historic moment will add a silver lining to a season that has been dreary for the Lakers’ faithful. But seeing that silver lining up close won’t be cheap.

StubHub says there are more than 4,500 tickets still available for the Oklahoma City game, starting at $144. There are around 2,100 tickets available, starting at $630, for the Thursday game against Milwaukee.

At those kinds of prices, perhaps the Lakers could have afforded to give Kyrie Irving a new contract. The Nets instead traded the All-Star point guard to Dallas on Sunday.

James is on pace to break the record Thursday, but he has scored 36 points or more in nine games this season, so the record is very much in play Tuesday night.