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Sweet 17: Lakers fans celebrate Finals win

THE Los Angeles Lakers breaks its championship drought and wins its first title in a decade. It’s the 17th championship for the storied franchise, tied for the most Finals wins with rival team the Boston Celtics.

With win number 17, some Lakers fans share their stories of joy and triumph, and what this latest championship means to them:

“I love the Lakers because of my hero, Kobe Bryant. I was there during the glory days, and I rode alongside all the Laker hopefuls during his decline. And even in the down years, I kept my love for the team because I feel like it’s a disservice to them if I switched teams. To a Laker fan like me, this only means we are out of the rut and now back to our winning ways. Credit goes to the management for breathing new life into the Los Angeles Lakers. This used to be a franchise with players frowned upon. Now with LeBron and AD in the mix, doors are now wide open for superstars to come play for LA. To more fun years ahead!”

Leo Nicholay Enriquez IV, Radio DJ

“I can still vividly remember the morning of Jan. 26 when my wife woke me up to tell me about Kobe’s passing. It was one of the worst feelings that I’d experienced in my entire life. It did not help when I found out that his daughter was with him. As a father myself, it broke me even more. People who know me know how much I adore Kobe and the Lakers. So even if it is bittersweet, this championship means everything! #LANation”

Peter Paul Ponce, with wife Julie and son Riley

“This 17th banner is a bittersweet one for true Lakers fans. With the passing of the great Kobe Bryant, I am pretty sure this will be remembered and dedicated to him. Hopefully, we will capture the 18th one soon! This one is for you Kobe #WWL4L”

Kenneth Arceño, Father and husband

“There are several types of Lakers fans and I’m not 100 percent sure I can enumerate all types, but I’m sure I am part of the biggest chunk. I started getting into basketball in the mid-‘80s and unlike now where there’s NBA Premium and League Pass, there was only one game on TV all week and it wasn’t even live. Only a few teams got featured and the Lakers was one of them and they stood out because of their style of play, and their stars like Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. When you choose a team that you will root for at an early age, it’s different. You become loyal. You had their posters in your room and it was great when they were winning. But it wasn’t as easy when the team was struggling. So watching the last minute of Game 6 made me shed a tear of joy because we were there when we had Sedale Threatt, Anthony Peeler, Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Hill logging heavy minutes for our team. Winning this year has been extremely satisfying.”

Bong Paredes, BPO manager


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