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Lakers receive $4.6M from loan program ... only to return it

Los Angeles released a statement after giving back the money, which is being used to help save small businesses. The Lakers’ valuation is up over $4 billion.

Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss before the game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center. Bulls won 118-110. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: So apparently the Lakers were the only team to apply for the loan fund program, interesting ....

The Los Angeles Lakers received $4.6 million from a COVID-19 relief loan program, but have since returned the money, the team told ESPN in a statement on Monday.

“The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program,” the Lakers said. “Once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community.”

So basically the team received a bunch of money to help relieve the burden and money lost by small businesses, for which the Lakers initially qualified. But after realizing that the government fund had been depleted, the Lakers gave back the money to save face.

Obviously one of the most prestigious sports franchises doesn’t need $4.6M during this time to help its “small business.” The Lakers became eligible so long as they spend 75% of the loan on payroll and don’t fire any employees.