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Lakers parade: Fans travel far for glimpse of NBA champions

June 17, 2009 |  1:01 pm

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Victor Martinez, 18, and Oscar Delcompare, 19, took three buses and the Metro from their homes in Wilmington to catch a fleeting glimpse of the Lakers atop buses riding by.

"It was worth it," Martinez said. "Even though it was just 10 seconds, it was worth it."

Delcompare skipped a welding class and Martinez skipped out on Avalon High School. But Delcompare also said it was worth it to see "the best team in the world."

Jeannette Hernandez, 18, whose friend left his car behind at the train station -- where it will be ticketed -- so they could make it to the parade, came from Pico Rivera and said it was worth it because Shannon Brown winked at her from his bus.

"I wish it could have gone by a little slower, but it was worth it," she said.

Her group took three trains to get to the parade and said they had no idea how they were going to get home. It was the second victory parade for Ronie Gibson, 20, who attended the 2002 celebration and was impressed that even more people showed up this time.

Gibson, who is unemployed, came from Watts on the Blue Line, walking all the way from Pico Boulevard to the Coliseum only to be turned away because the stadium was full. But he also was glad he came.

"Kobe was real happy," Gibson said.

-- Gale Holland on the parade route

Fans wear Lakers clothes at the start of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship victory parade outside the Staples Center on June 17, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)