After a defeat for the Lakers, a victory for the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation
Following Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets, 750 Lakers fans poured into the Lexus Club at Staples Center for the 4th annual Casino Night, a $500 per person benefit for the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation, which promotes education, teamwork and self-esteem by focusing on sports and providing financial aid.
Couple Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom took time to pose on the red carpet before heading toward the abundant buffets. It wasn’t hard to spot the Lakers as most stood heads above others. When asked his height, the towering 6'10 Odom said with a smile, “Handsome doesn’t have a height."
While some played arcade games or gambled with free chips, others posed for pictures with Odom, Shannon Brown, Luke Walton and Ron Artest beside the team's championship trophies. Artest also slipped into headphones for a short stint with the DJ.
Celebrities arrived en masse to hobnob with the team. Kevin Connolly of "Entourage" said, “I held the door for Steve Blake,” before he and his costar Emmanuelle Chriqui settled onto the patio with Kobe Bryant.
The guests included Teri Hatcher of "Desperate Housewives," Ellen Pompeo of "Grey's Anatomy," Victoria Justice of "Victorious," Regina King of "Southland," Jeremy Piven of "Entourage," Lacey Schwimmer of "Dancing with the Stars," Jessica Stroup of "90210," Julie Bowen of "Ed," Ashley Tisdale of "High School Musical," Ryan Rottman of "The House Bunny," and Kyle Richards of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," with Mauricio Umansky and their daughters: Alexia, Sophie, Farrah and Portia, 3.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss called the fundraiser "unique." But not all were feeling festive. “I'm not happy to be here," said head coach Phil Jackson. "We lost.”
Presented by Pechanga Resort Casino and OneWest Bank, the party netted $300,000 for the foundation.
-- Ellen Olivier
Photo: Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian. Credit: Juan OCampo