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Lakers’ Fans Celebrate Championship

June 16, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Thousands of basketball fans, waving pennants, blowing horns and snacking on ″Laker purple″ cotton candy, put the full-court press on downtown Tuesday to celebrate the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship.

Players rode floats in a parade through downtown, accompanied by Mayor Tom Bradley and a marching band from Morningside High School in Inglewood, site of the Forum, the team’s home court.

″The Lakers shook the leprechauns off their backs for good,″ said Bryan James of Downey, referring to the vanquished Boston Celtics. ″They’re truly Number One.″

Vendors hawked team T-shirts, souvenirs and snacks, including the purple cotton candy.

The crowd along the parade route was 8,000 strong and growing as the march began and headed toward City Hall, for a victory party, said police Capt. Rick Batson.

″Lakers are Magic-al,″ ″L.A. Kareem’ed the Celtics,″ and ″Lakers are ‘Worthy’ Champions,″ read signs playing on the names of court heroes Earvin ″Magic″ Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.

Some fans spent the night at the scene, including Kelli Wild of West Covina, who was decked out in Laker T-shirt and hat, shoulder-length hair and heavy facial makeup.

″I’m a rock ‘n’ roll fan but I love the Lakers,″ Wild said.

The Lakers defeated the Celtics 106-93 on Sunday, giving the Lakers the best-of-seven NBA championship series four games to two.

By winning the title, the Lakers saw to it that Bradley won a bet with Boston Mayor Ray Flynn. Bradley put up two boxes of oranges against two pots of Boston baked beans.

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