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Kobe Bryant’s farewell a hotter ticket than Warriors’ run for the record

Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green

Kobe Bryant handles the ball under pressure by Golden State’s Stephen Curry, left, and Draymond Green on March 6.

(Kelvin Kuo / Associated Press)

The Golden State Warriors are going for an NBA record Wednesday night in Oakland at the same time the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant will be going for the door at Staples Center.

And judging from the price of tickets on the secondary market, an emotional goodbye is worth a lot more than a piece of history.

The average resale price for a ticket to Kobe’s final game was $1,014 on StubHub at midday Wednesday, about five times the average for a typical regular-season game and about 18 times more than last season’s final regular-season home game against the Sacramento Kings.

The most expensive ticket StubHub sold went for $27,500.

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“This is a like an NBA Finals without anything on the line,” StubHub spokeswoman Alison Salcedo said. The last-place Lakers head into their regular-season finale against Utah with 16 wins, second-fewest in the NBA.

In Oakland, tickets for the Warriors’ game with Memphis, in which Golden State needs a win to break the NBA record for victories in a season with 73, were going for an average of $545 on the secondary market. The most expensive ticket sold went for $9,600 while the cheapest was $339.

“There’s still certainly interest in the Warriors’ game,” said Salcedo, who said the Lakers and Warriors combined were accounting for about 85% of StubHub’s NBA sales for Wednesday’s games. “It’s not a cheap ticket. It’s just not accompanied by the hype of Kobe and the Lakers in Los Angeles right now.

“We’ve had an entire season to build up to this moment. The hype for this in Los Angeles, it creates a lot of excitement. And you’re seeing the pinnacle of it with the exclusivity of getting into this game.”

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Barry Rudin, founder of Barry’s Tickets, which has an office across the street from Staples Center, had Laker tickets on his website Wednesday with an asking price of nearly $20,000. On EBay, there were ticket auctions beginning at $5,000.

“People have come from all over the country to see Kobe all year. All over the world,” said Rudin, who planned to take his son to the game. “It’s been a real big deal. You really just get to say thank you, cheer for him and say goodbye.”

In Oakland, meanwhile, Rudin dropped the asking price for his most expensive courtside seats at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night from $10,000 to $6,000 and still had no takers.

“It’s a big game. It’s huge,” he said of the Warriors’ game. “It’s just Kobe’s bigger. And L.A.’s bigger.”


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