Before the Lakers go their separate ways for a summer shortened by another NBA title, they gathered to celebrate with their city.
After boarding a series of Purple and Gold buses, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and their teammates, coaches, families and team staff took a tour down Figueroa Street to share their championship with Los Angeles.
Team photographer Andrew D. Bernstein and his staff were along to document the ride, and we included a few of the shots below:
The players, coaches and their families rode this float, which they boarded just outside STAPLES Center. Word is, one or two people wanted to see the Black Mamba, who was front and center with his family (obviously).
Sasha Vujacic described a terrific scene on Figueroa: “Just seeing how happy the people are is amazing.” He had less fun listening to Bryant relay his feelings about Team USA’s disallowed goal against Vujacic’s native Slovenia.
No one enjoyed the parade more than Ron Artest, pictured here with a hat constructed by his seven-year-old daughter, Diamond, who wrote “I love you Dad #37″ on it. Her daddy said he wasn’t thrilled that the color pink on the hat … but that was about the only thing he didn’t enjoy on Monday.
Lamar Odom had his wife Khloe on hand for the celebration, not to mention his (two-time) friend Larry O’Brien.
There’s Larry again, held up in the air for the fifth time by Bryant to unanimous cheers. No. 24 averaged 29.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.4 steals throughout a fantastic playoff run that ultimately brought him his second straight Bill Russell Finals MVP award.
As Kobe said on the championship podium following Game 7, he “couldn’t have done it without The Spaniard,” (conveniently) pictured in the foreground of a Spanish-style church. Gasol, arguably the NBA’s best all-around big man, averaged 19.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 blocks in the postseason.
We’ll close out the snap shots with this image of the main float, near the start of the following route that the Lakers shared with hundreds of thousands of their fans: STAPLES, south on Figueroa, past L.A. Convention Center, under Santa Monica Freeway, past Washington Blvd., over Harbor Freeway, past Adams Blvd., left on Jefferson Ave., stop at USC’s Galen Center.