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Forum memories? Send them along

Friday's preseason game at the Forum is generating plenty of buzz, or at least as much as is possible in a preseason rematch against the Warriors. I realize it won't quite recapture the feel of the Showtime Era at its peak, but having never had a chance to see Lakers game in that building, I'm willing to use my imagination.

Should you, though, have more concrete memories of the days when the Forum was indeed Fabulous, we'd love to hear about them. Send us pictures, stories, and so on, and we'll put them together in a grand Lakers Blog Forum Retrospective.

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Lakers vs Golden State

Mikki Moore got dunked on by none other than Shannon Brown. Wasn't Mikki supposed to be a veteran big that was supposed to help the Celtics last year?

That dunk by UPS was AWESOME! So needed for my basketball starved senses!

They look ok - like the defense they're showing. Drew looks active and good. I like the chemistry on court. And DANG they're big!


December. Sunday nite. 1971.
Lakers vs. Hawks.
On the way to 33, Lakers set record of 21 in a row.

Highlight: A Pete Maravich fake behind the back pass. Simply awesome.

OMG, that was one great team!

The Forum : Bill Russell`s last two titles were won inside that building!


Seriously, except for the rest rooms, it was an excellent building!!!!

Believe it or not, I actually attended about 40 Laker games at The Forum from 1978-90. I was at the McHale/Rambis game {LA shot 59% from the floor, and lost!}.

Unfortunately, I was also there for Game 3 of the `85 Finals, and Game 1 of the `87 Finals. Wish I could erase those memories!

I also witnessed in person Magic hitting an 89-foot buzzer-beating heave against Wash.


While it wasn’t the Boston Celtics, the Lakers gave fans a glimpse of what might one of the greatest team in franchise history, looking every bit like the big efficient veteran championship team they are, easily dominating the Warriors and not looking at all like a team playing its first preseason game.
Two big questions seem at least to be initially answered in the Lakers favor as Andrew Bynum appeared to be playing at the same level he was before his injuries and Ron Artest seemed to fit into the Lakers offense and defense perfectly, making two great passes for dunks by Andrew Bynum and throwing his 265# body around like a pit bull looking for action. Those are two HUGE pluses.
The best sign was that it looks like Andrew Bynum is much faster and quicker, especially running up and down the court. He has a real spring in his step and confidence in his moves. Unlike the last two years, it isn’t going to take him until January to get rolling. Granted the Warriors don’t really have anybody to guard Drew, but that is also true of many other Lakers opponents. And with Pau and Ron on the floor, there is no way to double Andrew. This is going to be the year of the Beast.
Ron Artest also immediately showed what a difference he can make with his more versatile game than Ariza, especially with his ability to drive and dump. Flirting with a triple-double, Ron fit in perfectly with none of the poor judgment or over dribbling that we used to worry about. The ball movement, especially for the first game, was just terrific. I was really impressed with how Ron played. He is going to make the Lakers a much better team than they were with Ariza.
Phil basically played Drew heavy minutes to give Pau an easy load considering how much he has played without a break. Of course, Pau was his usual super-efficient self, looking as if he was ready to start the season right away. I also loved Jordan and Shannon on the court together (what a dunk by Shannon on Moore!). They both played very well. Jordan was running the offense beautifully.
The Lakers entire front court was rocking with huge advantage on the boards and in points in the paint. Most impressively, the Lakers big men put on a terrific display of great interior passing. Kobe, Lamar, Pau, and Ron all made great passes in the post with Andrew Bynum once again getting the ball for point blank dunks and layups. Nobody is going to be able to stay with this front court.


I remember being in the Forum as the Sonics beat the Lakers and put them out of the play offs. The announcer said, as we left, "Be sure to return next year to a 'Magical season!"

We drafted Magic Johnson and the rest is history!

Game is over, liked what I saw, and I'm thinkin' repeat.

It'll be hard, but this team FOR SURE can do it.


Game is over, liked what I saw, and I'm thinkin' repeat.

It'll be hard, but this team FOR SURE can do it.


Fab Forum memories:

sitting right behind the Laker bench during the Showtime era, Magic, Worthy, Kareem and all---Billy Thompson was hurt and sitting sort of behind the bench close to us---he never came back from that injury which really was a shame...

sitting behind the GS Warrior bench during a play off game with some dude close to me giving Tommy Hensiehn (who was with Dick Stockton at the game checking it out courtside---they were the national announcers at the time) a relentless verbal beating ALL night, very funny stuff---we won it all that year...

Chick Hearn reading a note from me to my wife over the air (she couldn't go to the game that night, not enough free tickets, ha ha)...

bumping into Hot Rod Hunley in the stairwell and briefly talking to him...

at a playoff game verses Utah, sitting high in the nose bleeds, Karl Malone was vitually unstoppable and we lost---the only game I was at that we lost...we later won the series, but in a hard fought 7 games...won it all that year...

taking my kids (who were pretty young) to see Magic play the Magic with Shaq--we were in the rafters at that game and as young as they were (7,5,3) they knew it would be a lot cooler down closer---but they are all Laker fans now (as is my youngest, born in Idaho after we moved not long after that game) and they still remember going to watch the Lakers play...

as for non Laker Forum memories---saw a crapload (and I do mean a crapload)of concerts there--Tull, Neil Young, everybody who was anybody, as it were...

toinght's game was fantastic--awe inspiring, as again, it's only the tip of the iceberg Capt. Smith...


trevor ariza tonight against the green weenies
1-11 3 points
a little tougher without a Kobe to draw attention away from you

My first year as a Laker season ticket holder at the Forum, the Lakers won three 7-game series to repeat as NBA champions. They were the first team to repeat since the Celtics of the late 1960's. We beat Dallas, Utah and Detroit in 1987-88.

When Kareem had his #33 retired I went down on the floor with my friend. I am a UCLA grad like Kareem and was carrying my personalized license plate that read UCLAKER. An NBA photographer took my picture of me standing next to Kareem seated on the Laker bench before the game started. What a thrill for me because I never saw Lew Alcindor play while he was at UCLA. He never sent me the photo so if you're out there reading this and have the photo please send it. It would mean a lot to me. The memory is all I have.

Pity this poor midwestern boy who grew up thinking that the forum must be a hallowed place of magical basketball enchantments, but never once got to see his magical dreams become a still pretty good reality.

I will say though, just as an outsider, let me emphasize, I could be way off, but I think that Staples has the Forum beat hollow when it comes to Mediterranean and Japanese cuisine. From what I heard, you just could not get a decent spanikopita in that place.

Great way to start the season... and Shannon's aerial bender was awesome.

Great posts about the Forum but as a reminder, I think it says to email them in to the K-bros so they can put them all together.

Are tickets still available for Friday night's game? I will just so happen to be arriving in LA tomorrow night and that could make for a very fun Friday evening. The highlights I saw of tonight got me salivating for some games that count. SB should have a good year off the bench.

Best moment for me was seeing Wilt Chamberlain in a Laker Uniform.

Of course more memorable moments too but seeing the most dominant player in a Lakers uniform in the Forum was the best thing for me.

I never got to see the Lakers play at the Forum. Only the Kings (my father is Canadian).

It was a magical experience for me as a kid. Truly wonderful. I'm glad I got to see Marcel Dionne play.

I remember watching Channel Five and they changed the name from the Forum to the "Great Western Forum" due to corporate sponsorship. The sportscaster (whose name I forget) had a fricken fit and shouted "It will ALWAYS be the be The Fabulous Forum as long as I'm here!" And I remember, even as a child, that there was something righteous in his anger and I respected him for standing up to the fact that there is something deeper to sports than just branding and selling things.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.



Jethro Tull rocks!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


forget the screen name, but all i hear is the glory of the celtics back in the the late 60's and early 70's other than that they have no arguement. that's all they hold on.

i saw rasheed block ariza, oh wow!a player that no longer exist in lakerdom; and he got a technical. who is thinking of who? yet i saw bynum dunk all over every golden state player. not a bad sign.

My favorite Forum memory was the only Laker game I attended at the Forum. Traveling all the way from my hometown of Detroit, Michigan as a youngster, I actually went to Rockets at Lakers in December 1986. It was the yr after Ralph Sampson's shocking basket and the yr we ended up winning it all in June.
The highlight of the game was the play that is replayed even today when Magic falls on the floor for a looseball recovers it and throws a bounce pass between Sampson's legs to a wide open Rambis for a layup.
Crowd went nuts.

Allow me to begin by humbly offering my suggestion to the Brothers Kamenetzky for a future Lakers Blog Topic: HOW and WHY...perhaps even WHEN...those of us who are Lakers Fans became Lakers Fans :-) As my story unfolds, the reason for this suggestion will be made clear.

Back to the topic at hand -- "Forum Memories"

The following story is one BIG reason why I became a die-hard Magic Johnson fan...and by eternally devoted fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here is MY 100% TRUE "Fabulous" Forum story...and YES...this actually did happen to me:

Back during the Showtime Lakers era, my late father drove myself and some friends to the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood to pick up some tickets for an upcoming Lakers home game. He dropped us off near the old box office and went to park the car.

Being the restless kids that we were, we walked around checking out the sights. We even had time to play some hide-n-seek. Eventually, while the rest of the group headed back towards the box office, I happened to find myself alone in the tunnel where the players and VIPs entered.

After wandering around the somewhat dark and deserted tunnel for a bit, I was slowly walking out towards the entrance when this Gold Mercedes with dark tinted windows drove up. Out of the car guessed it...Magic Johnson.

He was the only person in the vehicle. No entourage. No body guard. No reporters. No cameras or TV crew anywhere in sight.

Of course I immediately knew who he was: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Young Buck, EJ the DJ. The west coast counterpart to Larry's east coast Legend. Their rivalry, and the teams they led during the 80's, would go on to (perhaps literally) save and resurrect the NBA, and set the stage for MJ and all the others who would follow in their footsteps.

He jumped out of his car, and appeared to be in a hurry, anxiously looking for something or someone. There was no one else in the vicinity but the two of us. He noticed me and gave me a nod. There I was, this skinny little kid, tongue-tied and awestruck, feeling like my legs were glued to the floor. Sure, he was a 'star' back then, but his star was still on the rise. Magic had yet to grow into the incredible celebrity he would later become.

Somehow, like an out-of-body experience, I found myself mouthing the request, asking Magic Johnson for his autograph. He could have dismissed me. Waved me away. He could have told me to get lost. He could have simply ignored me and drove off without saying a word. There were no cameras recording the encounter. There were no reporters witnessing the scene. But he didn't do that.

He leaned over, briefly flashed a hint of that iconic smile, and looked me straight in the eye. Then he pulled out a pen and signed his name onto the back of a blank sheet of paper that I happened to have in my pocket. This became the cherished prize I would proudly show off to any and all who would doubt that this actually occurred.

IF one could infer that True Character is revealed in moments such as those, that small gesture, that act of kindness, when no one else was around to witness it all those years ago, offers a glimpse into the soul of Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Like a real-life reenactment of the famous TV commercial where "Mean" Joe Green gives his jersey to that child, in that moment, his thoughtful act when no one else was around, caused me to become a life-long fan of Magic Johnson and by extension, of the Los Angeles Lakers.

P & G R

Ahhhh.. this made me who I am today..used to work at the Fabulous Forum/Great Western Forum during my high school years as an usher

First Kiss - Rose Soto during a Cheap Trick concert

First Celebrity face to face encounter - Rod Stewart

Sitting way up in the nosebleeds and having everyone around me whip out their transistors and listen to Chick while they watched the game.

What I remember about the Fabulous Forum was Dancing Barry dancing in the aisles in the second half of games. That seemed to really pump up the crowd. It was so fun to watch him dance and see how people got so excited.

Was there when Maurice Lucas (phoenix) broke James Worthy's leg...
Saw super smooth Alex English make a sick long jumper from behind the backboard...

Game 4 1970 NBA Finals Lakers vs. Knicks at the Fabulous Forum. I was 15-years old and my dad somehow got two tickets for the game directly behind the Knicks bench. We had listened together to Chick Hearn on the radio two nights before when Jerry West hit his 60-foot shot tying the game at the end of regulation, only to lose in overtime. Knicks led the finals 2-1 and the seats were so close to the floor that you could hear the players talking and the squeaking of their shoes on the floor. Late in the game, Knicks forward Dave DeBusschere came out of the game with a slight hamstring injury. As he limped to the bench, a few players slid out of his way so he could stretch out across a few seats. DeBusschere was handed a towel, he wiped his face and arms off, then threw it over his shoulder in disgust. Time went into slow motion as the towel sailed in the air directly towards me. It landed right in my lap and a few people nearby tried to grab it away from me but my dad and I hung on tight. Not only did the Lakers win 121-105 to tie the series at two each, but I went home with a priceless souvenir. The towel was white, with the word "Lakers" stitched in blue lettering. I kept that towel for years before it finally fell apart from overuse....But I still remember my dad and I, who until that night had always sat up in the nosebleed section's cheap seats, sitting courtside and enjoying the moment. I'll never forget that. Fast forward to 1989: I had just become engaged and my best friend and his wife took my fiancee and I to a Lakers game at the Forum. We had good seats in the Senate section, and at one point during the game my friend tapped me on the shoulder and pointed up to the scoreboard. There, above the team score in the reader board section we saw the words "Congratulations Mark and Tami". Wow! We were stunned and very happy. Someone took a picture of it for us which we still have to this day. Another Fabulous Forum memory!

February 1985. Uncle Banner Holder (R.I.P.) catches a plane from LA to St. Louis, MO to help drive Mama Banner Holder & I cross country to begin a new life as Los Angeles residents. After a slightly treacherous winter's drive, our 1983 Nissan Sentra parked in the driveway of Uncle BH's 2 bedroom house on East 76th Place. 2 days later, Auntie Banner Holder (then a season ticket holder) picks me up and takes me to this place called The Fabulous Forum to watch the Lakers play.

I was basketball/NBA ignorant. I had only known the Lakers from nights of seeing Mama watch their games on CBS after the 10:00 PM news in St. L. I knew who Kareem was. I knew who Magic was. I knew who other NBA players were, but I had never experienced the whole thing in person.

We sat down in our seats. I ate one of those $6.00 pizzas and a soda. The Laker Girls shook their shimmies. The Laker Band playing "Rocky," "China Grove" and a host of other pop ditties on those horns - not to mention the legendary "Dun-Dun-DEEEFENSE! Da-Da-Da-DUN-DEEEFENSE!" chant. Dancing Barry got his groove on. Magic/Kareem and the boys pounced the competition. And I was a believer. Instantly.

That game was the perfect way to welcome that 12 year old kid from St. Louis into the glamour and glory that is Los Angeles. I went to many more games with Auntie Banner Holder and Mama Banner Holder - most notably that 1985 Finals game where Dennis Johnson hit that (BLEEP-BLEEP-BLEEP-BLEEPING!) shot at the buzzer (don't even try to smack, 1anddone: That was a battle. We know who won the war that year!) and Kareem's last regular season game as a Laker. But The Forum is the place where it all started.

15 years after that first Laker game, my church at the time (Faithful Central Bible Church) bought The Forum. Our Pastor - Bishop Kenneth Ulmer - asked the members to contribute a special offering to help with the purchase of the building. Mrs Banner Holder and I contributed $250 to the cause. A drop in the bucket, I know, but every little bit helps, right? :)

The Fabulous Forum. Part of my history in more ways than one!

1984 - Olympics
MA resident coming to CA for the first time. Got to sit in the second row behind the bench. During a FT, The General, Robert Montgomery Knight yelled, "Wayman (Tisdale), get your a$$ over here."
During a timeout, I heard the General yell. "Alford, YOU SUCK."
I believe if Knight coached the Olympics every time, we could still play with amateurs. The man is a genius - the second best coach I have ever seen (John Wooden, #1), college or pro.

I don't even remember when was the first time I saw the Lakers at the Forum. My much older neighbor had tickets from his dad and I was the only other kid around who liked bball. We would go really early and watch the pre-game warm-ups, sometime up to 3 hours early. Sometimes we would bang on the doors until someone came by & opened them up. They didn't mind us getting there early. Seeing Wilt & Jerry, EB up close was awesome.

Saw a game against the septic's on my birthday once, a gift from my wife.

Saw a ton of concerts there. From Frank Zappa on New Years Eve, Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Bowie, NIN, Nirvana's final LA concert. Again on my birthday.

Spent a lot of time driving up Prairie ave.

My first visit to the legendary Forum, place of my revered Lakers had nothing to do with the Lakers.

A friend at school invited me to a Jehovah Witness event in the summer. With nothing better to do I went.

His older brother was some JW big wig I think, because he offered us a back scene tour of the facility, including a look into the Lakers locker room.

It was amazing to actually walk in the locker room, the three of us, and feel the history before us.

I don't remember a thing about the JW convention, except it was very boring, but the Lakers locker room visit, I will never forget.

I'm a native of Illinois and the first opportunity I had to see a game at the Forum was in January of 1992. My wife and I were in Santa Monica for a conference she was attending. We ordered the tickets online well ahead of time and we could hardly wait to see Magic on court "live" for the first time. Unfortunately, Magic retired prior to our trip. We had a great time at the game and on MLK's birthday I went down to the box office and was able to get a ticket to see that day's game too, and the seat was better than the one I ordered online! Someday soon I hope, I'll get back to see a game at Staples.

I've got some photos to send in but just wanted to say the thing I miss most about the Forum is strolling by Chick's spot, high above the western sidelines and saying hi. If he wasn't broadcasting, he'd always acknowledge the fans. Sure miss that guy.

I went to quite a few Laker games at the Forum (though I attended many more Kings games).

2 games I went to stand out for me:

* Magic's comeback game in January 2006
* James Worthy's jersey retirement

I haven't stepped foot in The Forum since the Kings' final game ever there in April 1999. I'll be there tomorrow night - can't wait!

Not necessarily a game, specifically, but who could forget Dancing barry?

He's about a third of the way in and the PSA style of the video is worth the watch anyhow.

As bad as the 80s were, they still had a style all their own. You could say I like the Sprite in them.

I can remember going to a few games in the 86-88 era. We saw them play the Knicks, Spurs, Jazz and Sonics that I can remember. I distinctly remember hearing the crowd call COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!!!!!!!!!! the first time. But what I remember most is sitting up in the nosebleads with my family and my Grandma who was a HUGE Laker fan. For some reason she would transform into this maniac during games. Screaming obscenities at the players whenever they missed a shot or threw away a pass. I think I learned all my swears from her. Thanks Grandma.

so many memories, so little space...

40-4 first qtr against the then kansas city kings
the first back to back in 86/87 - 87/88
jeffery osborne doing the national anthem = guaranteed win
checking out jerry buss's entourage thru my binoculars
walking around the forum and saying hello to Chick
Dancing Barry
Kareem's retirement party
the first Mid Summers Night Magic
meeting Wayne Gretzky and wife Janet sitting in front of me
Big Game James
Rambis Youth
Magic's smile
Watching Jerry West in the tunnel
Dyan Cannon, Jack Nicholson, et al
Lawrence Tanter - no fancy light show, they weren't needed
The refrigerator door is closed, the eggs are cooling, the butter's gettin hard.
slllaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmm dunk
We miss you Chick.

like i said, so many memories, so little space.

I used to get great seats through my lawyer sister and her firm. Two rows behind the Laker bench or courtside next to Arsenio and his date du jour. LOVED the Forum, watched many a Showtime fast break....a true thing of beauty, and was there when they held a tribute to Captain Kareem during his 'farewell' tour. Loved that squad with Riles, Magic, Kareem, BScott, Big Game James, the original Superman Rambis, AC Green and others....Staples is nice, but the Forum had those yellow seats, which gave the arena a golden glow. A great present to me was a piece of the Forum floor, which has the certificate of authenticity, a plaque on the actual piece of wood and it's in a purple box with the gold Laker logo....LOVE IT!!

I saw my first NBA game ever at the Forum in 1985 and I don't remember it because I was only two years old (I saw my second NBA game at the old Chicago Bulls stadium in 1993 when I was eight, which is another long story in itself). My family was on vacation from Kansas and we went to Disneyland, which I'm sure was the highlight of the vacation for me at the time. Looking back now though, having the opportunity to see what may have been one of the greatest teams in the NBA was probably even more special...but I still don't remember it! This game on Friday will hopefully be fun way for me to relive the nostalgia of the Showtime era Lakers I really don't have any personal recollection of.



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