May 30, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Laker Fever Contagious at Victory Parade: Los Angeles Shows Their Laker Pride

Laker Fever spread through Los Angeles on Monday at the NBA Championship victory parade.

Between 500,000 to two million fans flocked to Downtown to catch a glimpse of the all-star team and take part in the celebration for the team’s back-to-back championship.

Fans went to great lengths to watch their beloved team, even if it was only for a few seconds – some climbed on top of empty buildings, cars, and rooftops, anything to catch a glimpse of Kobe Bryant’s smile, Pau Gasol’s hair, Derek Fisher’s friendly face, and the majestic championship trophy.

Most attendees, like Jade Walker, drove countless hours in traffic to reach the parade early. Walker, who is from Moreno Valley, said the long journey to Downtown and a 4 a.m. wake-up call was worth it.

“I can’t imagine being anywhere else right now,” she said. “This is what fans do.”

Some, like Jose and Mariela Gamarro, camped out with tents and blankets in the early morning to get the perfect spot.

“We wanted to be up front for the parade,” Jose said.

The couple and their two children, who were lying asleep on the ground, had been waiting since midnight.

“I live in LA, it’s my team – I have to support it,” Jose said.

On every corner, vendors sold merchandise such as purple and gold boas, striped hats, Lakers shirts, bobble heads, flags, and vuvuzelas.

Many fans proudly held up banners, posters and homemade signs, which entailed everything from declarations of love for players –“Sasha! I’m single and I love your eyebrows” – to praises for the MVP –“This is Kobe’s Town – Back to Back Without Shaq.”

Attendees flaunted their purple and gold pride in an array of creative ways. One man painted a Lakers jersey on his body; three eight-year-old boys sported “LA” spray paint on their heads; four people put Lakers gear on their dogs; another man spray painted his beard yellow and purple; one teenage boy wore a purple and gold Iron Man mask.

Sisters Vanessa and Valerie Romero and their cousin Alyssa Gonzalez wore cowboy hats painted purple with matching black leotards and Laker necklaces.

“We wanted to stand out today for the celebration,” Gonzalez said.

In the hours leading up to the parade, fans entertained themselves by napping, playing cards, chanting “Go Lakers!” / “**** Boston!” or doing the wave.

However, no parade is perfect. With the large amount of attendees, conflicts over space were common.

“I’ve been here since two!” yelled one fan to another fan who was trying to get to the very front of the parade.

To alleviate such congestion, which was also common in last year’s parade, players were on flat-board buses rather than buses and there was no rally at the Coliseum.

Police also took extra precautions at the parade because of the reported incidents of public assault, drunkenness, and vandalism outside Staples Center after the Lakers won the championship in game seven on June 17, LAPD officials said.

At about 7 a.m., 15 orange metro buses arrived by Staples Center, filled with police officers, who then patrolled the parade by foot, bike, car, Segway, and helicopter.

Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Daniel Wong, who has attended six Lakers parades since 2000, said congestion has decreased since the first parade he attended.

According to Wong, in 2000, the area around Staples Center was packed several rows deep with fans, where as this year, the crowd was more spread out and peaceful.

At about 11:30 a.m., a half hour after the scheduled starting time, the two-mile celebration began at Staples Center on Figueroa Street and ended at University of Southern California’s Galen Center on Jefferson Boulevard.

First came fire trucks carrying the Laker Girls, followed by trucks carrying famous Laker players from the past such as Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the team’s family members such as Lamar Odom’s wife, Khloe Kardashian.

Finally, the team arrived, with the championship trophy on board, smiling and waving goodbye to the crowd – until next season, that is. Did someone say “three-peat?”

Contact Saba Hamedy

intern@smmirror.com

Related Posts

Film Review: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

July 19, 2023

July 19, 2023

FILM REVIEWMISSION IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONERated PG-13163 MinutesReleased July 11th The story in this “Mission: Impossible” chapter, “Dead...

Film Review: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

July 5, 2023

July 5, 2023

FILM REVIEWINDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINYRated PG-13154 MinutesReleased June 30th The director of Indiana Jones and the Dial...

Film Review: Past Lives

June 27, 2023

June 27, 2023

FILM REVIEWPAST LIVESRated PG-13105 MinutesLimited Releases June 2nd and June 9th, Full Release June 23rd The Korean concept of “In...

Film Review: Sanctuary

June 8, 2023

June 8, 2023

FILM REVIEWSANCTUARYRated R96 MinutesReleased May 19th In my humble estimation, this is one of the best movies of the year....

Film Review: The Little Mermaid

June 2, 2023

June 2, 2023

FILM REVIEWTHE LITTLE MERMAIDRated PG135 MinutesReleased May 26th With today’s technological developments, a live-action The Little Mermaid is not only...

A Riveting Revival of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning “A Soldier’s Play” Now Playing At The Ahmanson Theatre

May 31, 2023

May 31, 2023

On Stage With… Murder mysteries, whether cinematic or theatrical, are one of the most popular subjects. The list is quite...

Film Review: Chevalier

May 12, 2023

May 12, 2023

By Kathryn Boole  RATED PG-13107 MinutesReleased April 21, 2023 Chevalier is based on the true story of a historical figure...

Ballet at the Broad Stage Memorial Weekend – Meet the Talent!

May 10, 2023

May 10, 2023

Westside Ballet of Santa Monica returns to the Broad Stage with special guest artists kicking off Friday May 26th with...

Elizabeth McGovern Lights Up The Stage in “Ava – The Secret Conversations”

April 26, 2023

April 26, 2023

Play About Legendary Screen Star Runs Until May 14 At The Geffen Playhouse By Beverly Cohn Ava Gardner, born Ava...

Unconventional Art Festival “The Other Art Fair” Returns to Santa Monica This Weekend

March 31, 2023

March 31, 2023

140 independent artists, immersive installations, performances, DJs, and a fully stocked bar await visitors at Barker Hangar The Other Art...

Samohi Theatre’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” Takes the Stage in Santa Monica

March 1, 2023

March 1, 2023

Shows will take place at Barnum Hall on March 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. and March 5 at 3...

Film Review: “Marlow”

February 23, 2023

February 23, 2023

FILM REVIEW“MARLOWE”Rated R109 MinutesReleased February 15th “Marlowe” is a beautifully shot period piece that takes place in the late 1930’s....

Film Review: All Quite on the Western Front

February 22, 2023

February 22, 2023

I have never been a soldier at war, although I have close friends and relatives who have been. Universally they...

SMC Emeritus Concert Band to Hold Free Concert This Weekend at the Broad Stage

February 22, 2023

February 22, 2023

Concert February 26 will feature musical selections with an outdoor theme Santa Monica College’s Emeritus Concert Band, under the baton...