By PRINCE JULIUS CABIGON
LAS VEGAS -- The Los Angeles Lakers, one of the NBA's most storied franchises - and perhaps the most popular - made another preseason appearance in the desert on Wednesday night when they played with the Golden State Warriors at the T-Mobile Arena.
It was an event fit for a king. As in King LeBron James.
Thousands paid homage to see two of the word's best teams and though the official attendance was not announced, The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that "there appeared to be few, if any, empty seats" in an arena that sits 18,000 for basketball.
A horde of Filipino fans were there as well, including Arnel, who made the pilgrimage with his wife and a family friend. Originally from La Union, Ilocis Sur, they have since situated in Las Vegas following a stop in Hawaii. They paid $150 each to StubHub for their upper box tickets. All fans of Kobe Bryant, they were happy to see their beloved Lakers.
Ria from nearby Henderson, a few miles from The Strip, took her two kids to see their favorite players Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. They paid $350 each for lower box views through ticket outlet AXS.
RJ Lunes and a few friends with roots from Cebu and Davao had the best seats in the building. For $560 apiece they sat courtside where they could feel the gusts of their idols --- LeBron and Kyle Kuzma --- as they flew by on both ends of the floor.
Up in the bleachers, prices ranged from $100 to $180, per multiple ticketing outlets.
Like other celebrated events, food and drinks were pricey at T-Mobile concourse. A hotdog went for $8 while a single bag of popcorn popped at $7. Pizza slices were $11 and those who chose the healthy alternative for a salad paid $14 for the privilege. Those who were thirsty either paid for $7 for soda, $6 for water, or nothing to just let the throat go dry.
Parking wasn't cheap, either, $30 across the street at Park MGM, formerly the Monte Carlo.
Yes, there was a game, which the Lakers won, 123-113.
Steph Curry sizzled with 23 points while Kevin Durant had 18 and 12 boards. LeBron James played only 18 minutes, but he offered a glimpse of his do-it-all form with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
In the end, all that really mattered was the show. A good one. And well worth the price of admission and everything else.