By Eric Wade, Special to the BVN –
The City of Angeles loves winners. And they simply don’t come any bigger than the NBA Champion Lakers. After the city’s beloved Lakers bagged their 16th Title and second in a row -- Lakers Fans skipped work on Monday morning to show their appreciation. The crowd estimated at more than 500,000 lined the two mile parade route from Staples Center all the way to Galen Center on the campus of USC creating a two mile long echo chamber.
With so many sick people clustered together, yelling and breathing on each other it’s a miracle that there wasn’t a new H1N1 style epidemic started.
After beating the dreaded Boston Celtics, The Lakers are the Kings of Los Angeles and the entire basketball universe. The Celtics – Lakers’ rivalry at this point has to be considered or at least compared to the greatest rivalries of all time. The two franchises have met tussled head to head over a title more than any other sports franchises.
Monday’s celebration began at Staples Center with finals MVP Kobe Bryant hoisting the O’Brien Trophy high in the air. As the procession made it way toward Galen Center each of the Lakers' took his turn holding the trophy and extolling the crowd.
Signs and banners, many referring to the Celtics in very unflattering terms lined the streets. The fans were great and there were no reports of any serious incidents although the Los Angeles police department had expected otherwise.
Last years celebration culminated in the coliseum with speakers and promises to do it again this year. The Lakers fulfilled their commitment but LAPD thought otherwise about the extended celebration.
“It’s ok,” said self-proclaimed number 1 Lakers’ Fan David Lewis who drove in from Rialto. “I would like to have heard the team speak but it’s ok. I was coming down here anyway. I can go to work tomorrow” Obviously a sentiment shared by most fans since the estimated crowd was as large as last year’s.
Those fans arriving around 6 am got prime viewing spots.
Late arrivals didn’t fare so well or maybe they did considering the lack of facilities along the parade route. Even through all of the uncomfortable conditions most fans expect to be back next year.
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