Lakers Win the Championship

Gina Campos, Photographer

On the weekend of Oct. 11, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA finals, securing the 2020 championship victory. The NBA–like the rest of the world–was forced to temporarily shut down in order to abide to the quarantine regulations following the COVID-19 breakout, making it a year like no other. To add to this season’s rarity, former all-star Laker Kobe Bean Bryant, alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in an unexpected helicopter crash that took place in late January 2020, shortly before the season’s pause. Their passing left an open wound upon all, leaving Los Angeles with a drive stronger than no other to bring the trophy back home not just for themselves, but for the Bryants. 


Following their late night victory, fans took it upon themselves to visit the Staples Center Arena, home of the Lakers, given there would be no championship parade this year because of the ongoing pandemic. One of the hundred attendees who made their way Downtown Sunday night was lifelong fan, David Garcia, 11. 


Garcia claims the energy from fans that night was equivalent to that shown during a typical parade, in a way making up for what wasn’t going to happen.


 “I think it would’ve been just as energetic. We all came out unplanned, so it really showed how much support everyone had,” Garcia continues, “I mean, a lot of people stopped what they were doing just to go.” 


While the morality of this gathering still remains controversial, Garcia claims a large percentage of fans were responsible and courteous to others, abiding to the quarantine regulations by social distancing when possible and wearing a mask when in the presence of others. 


“It was a crazy experience, I made sure to cover my face thoroughly and wear a lot of covering because of the pandemic, but it was honestly a moment of light during these dark times,” Garcia said, “Everyone felt united again.” 


When asked to make a statement on the city’s behalf, Garcia agrees the Laker fan base, himself included, were satisfied with the overall turnout of both the victory and celebratory measures that took place. 


“I think it was a shine of light for Los Angeles. I think everything together also showed homage and love for Kobe Bryant, giving us something to be happy about and giving us hope and faith for the future,” Garcia adds, “What we can accomplish now will be no different than what we can do in the next couple of years.” 


Following the win, Laker fans took it upon themselves to further express their excitement via graffiti throughout the surrounding blocks of Staples Center. While some argue these scribbles were acts of vandalism, fans and local residents of the Los Angeles area saw the taggings as an artistic approach to pay their respects to the 2020 champions, and of course the late Kobe Bryant. 


“I’ve seen a lot of art to do with Kobe, I walked for hours around DTLA and a lot of the graffiti was for Kobe and I loved to see it,” Garcia says, “There was a group doing graffiti for gang related activities which was disappointing to see, but besides that I think the art for Kobe shows how much his supporters would do for him.” 


The city of Los Angeles continues to shine bright in purple and gold honoring the late Kobe Bean Bryant while also continuing to celebrate a well deserved win in a season sure to make the history books.