· The Staples Center
Less than ten years old, the Staples Center sits next to the city’s convention center complex and doubles as home for the city’s less popular basketball team, The Clippers. Although it's in downtown, there's still plenty of parking; they brag that there's 16,000 parking spots within a ten-minute walk.
Since you’re in LA, there’s of course a place to grab a smoothie. We’re a little disappointed that Robeks is spinning the fruit in the blenders, since we’re partial to Jamba Juice, but we'll get over it. If you want something a little more substantial than fruit, head to the Harbor Bar or Figueroa Bar on either side of the arena. You’ll have access to martinis, frozen cocktails, and premium wines. For full-service, visit the Fox Sports Sky Box, but don't think you'll run into Jack Nicholson up here; you know he gets his nachos from a waitress.
Remember, if the game just isn’t doing it for you inside, you can always run outside the doors and see what LA Live has to offer. Just make sure you take off your Kobe jersey first, otherwise they probably won’t let you into the bowling alley.
· The Amway Arena
About twice as old as its competition on the opposite coast, Orlando's Amway Arena has had plenty of official names and corporate sponsors, but we’ll pretend we’re a local and call it the O-Rena. The place serves as home for an Arena Football Team and a soccer team, but the Magic are definitely their number one tenant.
Like the situation out west, the arena is part of a bigger collection of facilities and venues designed to trap you in a world of entertainment. It's definitely not as exciting as the LA Live offerings, but you can swing by the Citrus Bowl to see if anything good is going on.
Although they pale in comparison to the Laker Girls, the Magic Dancers are a worthy reason to wait an extra couple minutes before heading to the concession stands. Speaking of which, all the usual snacks and sweets are available, but this isn't one of the league's premier venues so don't expect sushi or other trendy treats. We'd probably go to Johnny River’s Smokehouse to down some bourbon chicken or a pulled pork sandwich.
For those too classy for Coors Light, swing by the Time-Out Lounge for imports, as well as wine and liquor. Just be sure to fill up on drinks early and often, since the NBA cuts its fans off when there's 12 minutes left in the game.
Although the place is named Amway, we’re pretty sure that you won’t be told about any business opportunities on your way out of the place, but we can't guarantee it, so stay alert!