Tens of thousands of fans cheered the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday as the National Basketball Association champions rode in a victory parade in Los Angeles. The Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 on Thursday night in game seven of the NBA finals. Fans are hoping the Lakers, with two national championships in a row, can win a third consecutive time next year.
The Lakers rode the three-kilometer route atop a flat-bed truck and double-decker buses.
Kobe Bryant, named the series' most valuable player and who has won five national titles, said this one was the hardest. He savored the moment with his two young daughters.
"My kids are old enough now to understand competition and the challenges of it. And it feels good to show them that hard work pays off," he said.
Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic said the championship came about through teamwork.
"We did it together. We did it as a team and that's why it feels so special," he said.
Forward Pau Gasol says the team is eyeing another championship next year. "It's hard to win one, let alone win two back-to-back. But next year, we're going to have to do it all over again, hopefully," he said.
This was the 16th NBA title for the Lakers.