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L.A. Fans Pumped As Lakers Battle Pacers in NBA FinalsAired June 8, 2000 - 2:32 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: In Los Angeles, basketball fans are back on the Lakers bandwagon. The team is looking like a winner again as it battles the Indiana Pacers in the NBA finals.
CNN's Anne McDermott tells us why the fans are so pumped.
ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back in the '80s, the sun still smiled on Los Angeles: The L.A. Raiders won a Super Bowl, the L.A. Dodgers were World Series champs, and the L.A. Lakers were the "Kareem" of the crop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, L.A. LAKERS: Thanks a lot, everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCDERMOTT: Now fast forward: the football teams left, the championships left, the fans left, with the exception of good old Jack, who hung in there year after year hoping against hope. And now? And now it's show time again. The fans are back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the way.
MCDERMOTT: And, of course, the airwaves here are filled with talk of a championship, right?
ARNIE SPANIER, SPORTS RADIO HOST: What are you trying to tell me, that the Pacers might win this series?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, they're going to take a couple games.
SPANIER: OK, thank you for the phone call.
There you go, L.A.
MCDERMOTT: Well, are L.A. fans true or not?
SPANIER: What, are you kidding me? Yes, they do care about the Lakers -- only when they're winning, though.
MCDERMOTT: OK, but when Lakers win big, fans care big. VIC JACOBS, SPORTS RADIO HOST: When the Lakers beat the Trailblazers, it was 19,000 people having a mass orgasm.
MCDERMOTT: Some actually think the fans are somewhat blase. The mayor puts it differently.
RICHARD RIORDAN, MAYOR, LOS ANGELES: Well, L.A. is the most sophisticated city in the world, and our fans are just more sophisticated than other people.
MCDERMOTT: Well, Mr. O'Neal sees what's happening as a matter of destiny.
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, LAKERS CENTER: I think the city's been waiting for this moment just like I've been waiting for this moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shall not be denied.
Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.
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