From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.”
That's the start of Kobe Bryant's letter on The Players' Tribune announcing he'll retire at the end of the 2015-16 regular season. Bryant's sudden announcement sent shockwaves through the NBA and had a major impact on secondary market prices for Los Angeles Lakers games for the rest of the season.
Immediately following Bryant's announcement, the demand for his last regular season game at Staples Center -- April 13 against the Utah Jazz -- skyrocketed, hiking both its average and get-in price. The current average price for the regular season finale -- and with the Lakers' current record most likely Bryant's last game at Staples Center -- is $1,340.71 with a get-in price of $552.
Even when the team is struggling, as it is now, Lakers tickets are always among the most expensive on the secondary market. Bryant's retirement announcement hasn't fully sent shockwaves for other Lakers home games, though that could certainly change as the end of the season starts to approach.
Many basketball fans in Los Angeles have likely seen Kobe Bryant in action and would probably want to see one of the best of all-time play one more time. What might be more interesting, though, is fans around the league who would like to see Bryant play and have less opportunities to do so with the Lakers on the road. Following the announcement, the Lakers are holding a secondary market premium for every road stop for the remainder of the season -- meaning every road Lakers game has an average price above the home team's 2015-16 average price.
The biggest premium comes for a December 4 game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, 285.6% above Atlanta's home average. The lowest premium will come in Sacramento against the Kings, for a game that is 28.6% above Sacramento's home average. The most expensive game will come against the Golden State Warriors on January 14 at an average price of $565.07, though that is just 78.7% above the average price at Oracle Arena this season.
The chart below shows the premium, average price and get-in price for every Lakers road game from Bryant's announcement to the end of the regular season.