With the recent additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the Lakers are gearing up for another championship season. So where do you go if you don't have tickets to the game? Well you can always set up shop outside the Staples Center and hope that someone lets you in. Or you can watch Kobe and company live at any of these L.A. sports bars. Hmm… option two sounds a lot better.
Happy Ending: The crowd tends to be younger, and a lot of times it can be about as noisy as a frat house. But on game day, Laker fans come out in droves to Happy Endings in Hollywood. Happy Endings doubles as a restaurant, with bar food that's actually pretty good. In fact, their New York-style pizza is consistently ranked as one of the top pies in Los Angeles. And on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. they're only $6. Happy Endings also has daily specials on all wraps, burgers and salads. You can check all of their food and drink specials by visiting their website.
7038 W. Sunset Blvd., 90028; 323-469-7038
Barney's Beanery: It's the one of the few sports bars in West Hollywood, and one of the oldest watering holes in the city. And with a wide selection of beers – 40 on draft and 160 bottled beers – you'll have plenty of options to choose from during the game. Besides, it's about time you let your palate explore something new for a change. Barney's Beanery also has a really great happy hour happening Monday thru Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wait a minute… that's during game time! Bonus?
8447 Santa Monica Blvd., 90069; 323-654-2287
ESPN Zone: Since it's located directly across from the Staples Center, you can feel like you're right in midst of all the sports action at ESPN Zone at L.A. Live. With over 150 HD TVs broadcasting every single sport being played on a field, you can also be sure you won't miss a single play of the Laker game. Unless of course you slip out to the bathroom – but even those have TVs. And given its close proximity to the stadium, it's not uncommon to see a real life Laker (just like on TV) pop in time to time. Just don't let this get out – I wouldn't want to blow their cover.
1011 S. Figueroa St., L.A. Live, 90016; 213-765-7070
Dillon's: The best thing about Dillon's in Hollywood is that beers are $3 all day, every day. And by beer we're not just talking Coors Light and Budweiser. With everything from Guinness, Fat Tire, Blue Moon, and dozens of other craft beers and imports on tap, you'll be able to watch the Lakers and drink in L.A. style. You just won't have to pay as much. Unless, of course, you want to.
6263 Hollywood Blvd., 90028; 323-315-9744
Big Wangs: The beer is cheap, the Lakers game is always on, and the menu boasts an item called heart-a-tots, which is basically tater tots covered in alfredo sauce and bacon bits. Yep, Big Wangs in Downtown is definitely one sports bar where any diehard Laker fan will feel right at home. Not to mention they're known for having some of the best, and meatiest, chicken wings in town. We're talking all drummies, all day! If the Downtown location is packed on gameday – which it often is – you can always check out Big Wangs Hollywood on Cahuenga and Selma.
801 S. Grand Ave., 90017; 213-629-2449