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The Biggest Name in LA Basketball You Don't Know

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In early December, the Indiana Pacers were in town to face the Los Angeles Lakers. As NBA teams do, they stayed in a posh hotel -- this one in the Bel Air area. But as we Angelenos could have told them, that’s a lot of time in the car (or bus, in this case) if you want to drive out to Staples Center for a morning shoot-around, go back to the hotel for the afternoon, then back to Staples for the game that night.

So instead, the Pacers team had their morning shoot around at a house.

Well, not just any house. This home belongs to LA Gear CEO Steven Jackson. His not-so-humble little abode comes with a full-size replica of the Staples Center court, complete with replica Laker championship banners hanging in it. With a piece of the old Fabulous Forum Laker floor signed by Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was so realistic that the Pacer players raved about it giving them a good feel for shooting in the real arena.

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The Pacers knew about it because their star -- Jermaine O’Neal -- worked out there during the summer with teammate Al Harrington. Also taking place there have been some key pre-draft workouts for scouts, including rookie-of-the-year candidate Brandon Roy (the Washington star now playing professionally in Portland). There are other pick-up hoops games there with NBA players, the occasional NBA insider, and even a lucky blogger now and again.

Don’t feel like shooting hoop? The house also has a bowling alley, movie theater, tennis court, and game room.

Apparently, LA Gear sold a lot of those blinking-light shoes to kids back in the 1990s.