Los Angeles Lakers, Kings, Clippers Have Staples Center Busier Than Ever Amidst Playoff Runs

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The venue affectionately known as the "House that Shaq Built" is getting a little crowded these days.

That's because for the first time in its 13-year history, the Staples Center has all three anchor tenants playing in the postseason in 2012. Aside from the obvious logistical challenges that take place with such a busy arena, Los Angeles fans are experiencing sports utopia.

The Lakers are the clubhouse leader when it comes to staking claim as the best in Staples Center. Their 16 overall titles and five since moving into the arena trump the in-house rival Los Angeles Clippers, who have just two playoff appearances over the same span. The Los Angeles Kings have shared the postseason spotlight with the Lakers six times before, and have a legitimate chance at adding the first men's banner that doesn't feature the Lakers' name in the rafters (The Los Angeles Sparks won WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002).

It's a great time to be an L.A. sports fan.

There have been years of some turmoil for each franchise - even the Lakers missed the postseason in 2004-2005 - but the city has been blessed with talented teams that have entertained fans and gone to the playoffs for all but that lone season.

The Kings have perhaps the best chance to become actual Kings of Staples Center as they are riding a hot goaltender in Jonathan Quick and have swept the St. Louis Blues, 4-0 in their last series. As they head into the Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, their improbable run has made believers out of the sports nation. The elusive Stanley Cup seems well within their grasp.

Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul might have something to say about the "Kings of Staples" moniker as leaders of their respective teams. Things are looking up for their squads as well as the Lakers hold a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets while the Clippers are up 2-1 over the Memphis Grizzlies as of May 7.

It's exciting for all except the crew responsible for turning the former Pollstar-CIC Arena of the Year around in those sub-24-hour spans. They should be recognized for a job well done.

They are not done yet, though, and the work may get even more difficult given the potential success of the Lakers, Kings, and Clippers. L.A. sports fans would have no problems with those fine people working day and night well into June.

There's always time to rest -- and celebrate -- afterward.

Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and southern California native, covering the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA for over 10 years. He has been published in southern California's Press-Enterprise as well as Examiner.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets

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