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Oh, the things you see at a Lakers game!
by Michael Eaves / June 7, 2004

Less than 24 hours after Prince held court at Staples Center, the Lakers legion of purple and gold reclaimed its home arena for the tip-off of the NBA Finals. And as much as His Royal Badness rocked the house, the feeling just doesn't compare to what you see and hear at a Lakers game.

From the countless kids sporting Kobe jerseys – some of them barely old enough to spell his name – to the street vendor outside selling t-shirts that read, "First O.J., now Kobe... no more white girls!" It came to a point where nothing surprised you.

You were not amazed to see Snoop Dogg flanked on one side by Ludacris and on the other by reformed pimp, Bishop Don Juan – and speaking of, where does he find those colors for his suits – nor where you shocked to see Mary Kate Olson – yeah, one of the twins – stop in front of Snoop and plant a big friendly kiss on his cheek.

You were not alarmed to see Michael Clarke Duncan filling out a #34 Lakers jersey better than Shaq.

You were not blown away by Shaq's mother wearing a championship ring-inspired pendant about the size of an American Express card.

You were not dumbfounded to see more people in line to buy $40 t-shirts than $8 beers.

You were not startled to see a gigantic piece of toast used as a billboard hyping up a new show on The Discovery Channel.

You were not flabbergasted to see Lakers owner Jerry Buss chilling in his luxury suite with enough young hotties to fill a Victoria's Secret catalog.

You were not astounded to see more ESPN employees in the building than ushers.

You were not stunned to see Dick Van Dyke sing the national anthem as the leader of a barbershop quartet.

You were not perplexed by the sight of Lakers guard Bryon Russell, Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis and Derek Fisher's brother engaged in a pre-game shooting contest that seemed to last forever.

You were not astonished to see Meg Ryan slamming together two Lakers balloon bangers with meager hopes of inspiring the home team.

You were not dismayed to see Toronto Raptors guard Jalen Rose – working as a NBA Finals correspondent for FOX Sports Net's Best Damn Sports Show Period – interview more people than the 9/11 Commission.

You were not stupefied to see Disney CEO Michael Eisner – decked in a Mickey Mouse sweater – chatting up a storm with NBA Commissioner David Stern, although the commish's wife didn't exactly seem enthralled.

You were not even puzzled by the sight of an "Uncle Fester" look-a-like sporting "Thing" on his head along with four blinking light bulbs in his mouth.

About the only thing surprising for most people who attended Game 1 of this year's NBA finals, the final score!

Michael Eaves covers the NBA for FOX Sports West in Southern California. You can reach him at meaves@foxsports.net

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