Lakers fans poured into the streets of Downtown LA around the Staples Center Sunday evening to celebrate the team’s 17th NBA Championship winning over the Miami Heat. Among the crowd downtown, cheers quickly turned into "Kobe, Kobe!" a salute for the late Lakers’ star.
Fans celebrated by lighting off fireworks and with cars and motorcycles doing burns-outs in the streets for several hours after the game had concluded. LAPD officers moved to clear the crowds, and ended up firing less than lethal munitions at crowds after bottles were thrown towards officers throughout the night. There were a variety of graffitied messages on many buildings and on a Metro bus throughout the Downtown area surrounding the Staples Center. Crowds had mostly dispersed by around midnight.
The Lakers dominated the Miami Heat 106 to 93 to capture their first championship in a decade. The title comes nearly a year after the NBA season began – it was interrupted months because of the pandemic. And it arrives just shy of nine months since Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others died in a helicopter crash. The Lakers said they were playing the season in their memory.
LeBron James was named the Most Valuable Player in the NBA finals, the fourth time he’s earned that honor. Last night he scored 28 points, while pulling down 14 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists. It was his 7th NBA finals “triple double” – only Magic Johnson has more.