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Lakers express grief over toddler who fell to death from Staples Center luxury box

November 22, 2010 |  2:18 pm

One day after a toddler plunged three stories to his death from a Staples Center luxury box, several of the team's players and coaches shared their  thoughts on the incident.

Lakers guard Derek Fisher, whose infant daughter successfully battled a rare, life-threatening form of eye cancer three years ago, was stunned by the death.

"It's obviously very sad news to receive," Fisher said after the team’s practice Monday. "When our fans come to the game to support us, the last thing we want to happen is for someone to be injured or in this case a child to lose a life. For people that have kids or have nieces and nephews and understand how special a child's life is, it's just very sad news. Our prayers and our thoughts are out to their families and their support and their friends. We just hope they can stay strong in this time of need.”

Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who lost a son four years ago to sudden infant death syndrome, said he was similarly upset. "I'll say a prayer for that family today," he said.

Coach Phil Jackson said, “It's a very sad situation and we're very sorry for that family.”

Two-year-old Lucas Anthony Tang died after plunging 28 feet from one of the stadium's luxury suites. Los Angeles Police Department officials said the boy's parents had been taking photos of the boy just before he fell. Officials said the family was looking at the digital photos and lost track of the boy, who somehow went over the top of the glass partition.

The height of the fall had originally been reported as 50 feet. But stadium managers said it was in fact closer to 28 feet. They said the height of the glass met the city's building safety codes.


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-- Mark Medina, Mike Bresnahan and Kate Linthicum