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Seeing Kobe Bryant smile is worth it all for some Lakers fans [Updated]


As the Lakers' victory parade ended about 12:20 p.m., police estimated the size of the mostly orderly crowd at more than 65,000 and said there were nine arrests for fighting and disturbing the peace.

Out in the crowd, the sound was deafening, with many hollering "Kobe," "MVP" and "L.A.!" Some men burst into tears. 

Kayla Brown, a student at Pepperdine, shouted, "Kobe, I love you."

Minutes later, after the parade buses passed, she turned to her friends and said, "Oh, my God, I'm still shaking," then immediately began scrolling through her cellphone to see what photos she had been able to take. She was thrilled to see she had gotten a close-up of Kobe Bryant. 

She added: "Now we have to go sit in traffic for hours, but it was well worth it."

Isaiah Tellez, 12 and his step-brother Daniel Saulcedo, 11, both of Whittier, were leaning against the guardrail with expressions of wonder and disbelief on their faces at actually seeing the players in the flesh.

Pierce Nemore, 18, said he was surprised by how many people turned out.

"Seems like there are a billion Lakers fans," he said.

Gabriel Graciano, 28, of Baldwin Park said he wished there had been more festivities to keep the fans busy before the parade started.

"I thought it was pretty cool," he said of the parade. "But we need more music or entertainment. We were out here for about four hours."

After the buses went by, Alphonso Sierra of Montebello dismantled a tent he had built to shelter about 25 family members from the sun as they waited for the parade.

"Now, back to reality," he said.

[Updated at 1 p.m.: Two children, Alan Sandoval, 10, and Donald Porter, 8, were separated from their parents during the parade and were still missing at 1 p.m., police said.]

-- Jessica Garrison, Esmeralda Bermudez, Gale Holland, Sam Allen, Alexandra Zavis and Richard Winton

Photo: Aerial view of the Lakers team float making its way down Figueroa during today's victory parade. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (56)

Wow... A lot of haters on this page. Must be a lot of work to crawl out of your hole to spew out all that hate. Love you too. Peace out!

All I have to say to the Laker haters is..... Come and Get IT! Until your team can beat the Lakers, give credit where it is do... The Lakers have earned the right to be the CHAMPS.. Last Year, This Year, and Possibly Next Year..

Love it, or hate it.. of coarse the Laker haters Hate It.. lol

This is great, to hear all the sorry a** celtic fans: Bottom line: you guys had 11 nba championships in the 50`s and 60`s and have only ONE (2008) ring in the past 23 years !! Keep crying like baby wile we all celebrate, and get use to it cuse we aint finshed just yet !!!!! (except for the next years you all be watching from TV)

The article was about the Lakers Back to Back Championship Victory parade. I think the comments from "haters" are just silly. People who hate the Lakers are just one thing... JEALOUS. Also, bringing up Kobe's charge for alleged sexual assault from SIX YEARS AGO, is ignorant. In case you forgot the case was dismissed. You may not like Kobe as a person, but you cannot deny that he is the best player on the planet!

all you people talking smaack must be a fan's of the team we beat HAHAHA..dont be sad you could see your team get beat AGAIN NEXT YEAR!! HAHA...

I read a post here that claimed there were 2 million people at the Celtics' championship celebration back in 2008. The person mocked the unofficial estimated crowd of 65,000 that was out to see the back-to-back champion Lakers yesterday. However, there is one huge thing the writer forgot to mention. Before 2008 the last title that Boston won was in 1986, a span of 22 years. The Celtics fans were starved for a championship, having not seen one in the time it takes to raise a child from birth to his/her junior or senior year in college. In case of the Los Angeles fans, they had seen much more recent celebrations. Ones that occurred in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009. In LA, celebrations are now expected and I imagine that if you have been to one or two (perhaps more) you may not feel the urgent need to go to the most recent one. Just speculation on my part, mind you. One more thing that may explain the size of yesterday's crowd. The "parade" was indeed really more of a drive by and since there wasn't an actual gathering like last year's at the LA Coliseum, Los Angelenos may have simply decided that perhaps it was best to watch the party from the comfort of their own homes. Like I proudly did at my home in Durham, North Carolina. I have been a Lakers fan since Kareem was traded to Los Angeles in 1975. I suppose I will be one until the day I die. Congratulations to the Lakers on their back-to-back titles and 16th overall. Soon we will overtake Boston's 17 titles and we will be celebrating yet again. Get used to it, Laker haters. Oops. I imagine you already are.

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