This time it felt more real. The Lakers didn’t win a championship, a family won a championship.
The Lakers re-wrote the script, having each player introduce each other was a first of its kind. Lawerence Tanter (Lakers PA Announcer) announcing a name, and having them walk across the court is always good.
But having family introduce family is better.
“Bill may be his father, but he’s really my son.” Phil Jackson said, as he introduced Luke Walton. Making Luke haters across the globe yell at their TV screens, “That’s why he gets so much playing time!”
“We’ve known each other since we were 12 years old…and I just want to let him know that his family is proud of him.” Lamar Odom announced as he brought out Ron Artest.
“He’s made numerous amounts of huge plays, big threes” Shannon Brown told the crowd, he then would smile from ear to ear, like an eager kid talking about his favorite player.
“He’s…he’s just the man to me!” as Brown brought out Derek Fisher, or as his Lakers teammates call him “El Presidente”.
The ring ceremony didn’t go without a few awkward moments. The aforementioned Lawerence Tanter, quickly introduced the training staff along with the assistant coaches before Phil Jackson and the players were introduced.
Those that were watching know that someone was skipped. The jumbotron at Staples, and TNT cameras were zoomed in, on special assistant coach Rasheed Hazzard (son of NBA legend and former Lakers executive Walt Hazzard), after Craig Hodges took a bow.
Hazzard’s name was never announced.
Whether it was Tanter’s fault or the guy that gave him the script is still a mystery, but Hazzard didn’t get to take a bow, after helping out with last years championship.
Another moment that seemed to be off script, was when Jerry Buss was brought out by Kobe Bryant, proclaiming him “The best owner in all of sports”, it seemed as if Buss was supposed to say something, but he just turned like a deer in the headlights and looked up towards the rafters.
The microphone was then juggled for a few seconds, and then handed to Ron Artest, looking confused; he looked to his teammates most likely asking, “What do I say now?”
Ron being the MC that he is did a nice improv, directing the crowd to look up in the rafters as his eyes then glazed over watching the banner that will represent him and the 09-10 champions for eternity.
The first three championships Phil and Kobe got together will always be special.
At that time, the common phrase when describing the talented bunch 2000-2002, particularly Kobe and Shaq was, “They don’t have to be friends off the court, or love each-other, to be successful.”
That statement is completely true.
However, it’s got to be that much more special when you win it as a family.
View more of David Brickley’s work at davidjbrickley.com, or you can e-mail him firstname.lastname@example.org