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L.A. Throwing Party for NBA Champion LakersAired June 21, 2000 - 2:31 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Los Angeles throwing a victory party this hour for the NBA champion Lakers. The celebration is tempered, however, by the violence following game six Monday night.
Greg LaMotte is keeping watch for CNN. He joins us from downtown L.A. -- Greg.
GREG LAMOTTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, welcome to "Shaquille O'Neal Day," otherwise known as Laker Day as proclaimed by Mayor Richard Riordan of Los Angeles. But it seems this party, this parade is about Shaquille O'Neal, the MVP of the regular season, the MVP of the championship season. This town loves him; he loves this town.
I can't even begin to tell you how many people of the tens of thousands, if not more, are wearing Shaquille O'Neal jerseys on this parade day. Not only is O'Neal an MVP on the court. Apparently, he's one off as well.
After Monday's night and subsequent violence around the Staples Center, in which two police cars were set ablaze and two news vans destroyed, it's our understanding that O'Neal has offered to pay for one of the destroyed police cars. Also the Staples Center and the Lakers saying that they're going to pay for the other one.
The party here started about 6:00 a.m. when people began arriving along the 9 o'clock parade route. It's been 12 years since the Lakers have won an NBA basketball championship, you'll remember with Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson. Now the names are Shaq and Kobe, as in Kobe Bryant.
He's the kid the Lakers drafted out of high school, and at the ripe old age of 21 he's wearing an NBA championship ring.
I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention the fact that there seems to be a sort of underlining tension here today at this parade given what happened on Monday night. Police and city officials are promising today's event will not be marred by violence. They say they will not allow it.
That is a very sensitive issue right now, given the fact that the Democratic National Convention will be held right here, in the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
I was right here when the violence happened on Monday night. Police, the mayor saying it is not going to be allowed to happen during the Democratic National Convention.
As far as this parade goes, it's just a giant party here in La-La land.
Greg LaMotte, CNN live, Los Angeles.
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