Wild scenes as LA descends into chaos
After six years in the NBA wilderness, LeBron James and the LA Lakers have finally claimed the franchises 17th NBA championship to draw level with the Boston Celtics.
It was a season that the Lakers almost had to win with the mammoth signing of Anthony Davis, the second year of James and the untimely death of Kobe Bryant all setting the team on track to end a 10-year title drought.
It was Bryant who brought the last title to LA in 2009-10, and Lakers fans have started a party a decade in the making.
Watch every single game of the The NBA Finals LIVE on ESPN with Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
Fans were out in force at the Staples Centre with USA Today reporting thousands of fans wearing Lakers shirts, waving flags and setting off fireworks as they celebrated the Lakers' 106-93 win over the Miami Heat to take out the NBA title in the strangest of years.
In normal years a brand new NBA season would be about to get underway, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a season suspension that will push the start of the 2020-21 season back until at least Christmas Day.
"The scene was mostly peaceful but beyond boisterous," he wrote. "A few men clambered up construction-site scaffolding - about 50 feet in the air - and waved a Lakers flag. A few drivers burned rubber, sending thick smoke into the air. On some streets, traffic was at a standstill for about an hour."
The LA Times reported that fans were chanting "Kobe, Kobe" and that "A big crowd took over the intersection of Figueroa Street and Chick Hearn Court, dancing and jumping and setting off smoke bombs in purple and gold".
The Times report also quoted LA Police Department chief Vito Palazzolo, who said "we hope people celebrate at home".
There were some scenes as police attempted to disperse the crowd and blocked the entrance to Staples Centre "including some holding weapons used to fire so-called less-lethal projectiles", the LA Times reported.
There were also scenes of revellers kicking police cars as they tried to get the crowd to disperse.
The scenes have lit up social media with some worried about the spread of COVID-19 in the crowd.
Haven’t seen traffic like this in LA since the pandemic started. And if all these people continue going downtown with no masks or distancing, the pandemic may never end. Contracting a potentially deadly virus is not a good way to commemorate your team’s title.— stan verrett (@stanverrett) October 12, 2020
Y’all.— Ovi Kabir (@TheOviKabir) October 12, 2020
The Lakers beat the Heat, not Covid. https://t.co/mOrT1lg2oE
In the bubble it was just as wild.
As the celebrations kicked off, the Lakers forgot 27-year old guard Quinn Cook as the team left the stadium and headed back to the party in the bubble.
1. They left Quin Cook at the arena— Ry (@JustRyCole) October 12, 2020
2. Dion Waiters is COMEDY pic.twitter.com/8jxQxTgDhK
The Lakers were quickly into the celebrations with videos coming out thick and fast.
LMAO AD drunk as hell haha 😂 I mean CHAMP is drunk as hell 😎🔥— GoldenKnightⒸ (@GoldenKnightGFX) October 12, 2020
The Lakers postgame party is underway in the bubble pic.twitter.com/TrfL48mQ0o— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 12, 2020
There are going to be some sore heads in the days to come as the Lakers soak in NBA title number 17.
Originally published as Wild scenes as LA descends into chaos