2020 has been a rough year for all sports teams, but a team that was hit especially hard was the Lakers as they lost a legend – Kobe Bryant. Bryant’s tragic death set the melancholy tone for 2020 as fans all over the world were in mourning.

After Bryant passed away, the corona virus struck and the world was forced to shut down – postponing the NBA. Luckily, NBA players were able to return to the court but with several strict restrictions to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak. 

For the past week, Angelinos have been on the edges of their seats as they watched the Lakers take on Miami Heat to fight for the championship title. Though the Lakers have been NBA Champions 17 times, this particular title was significant to everyone in the Laker community because they hoped to honor the legacy of Kobe Bryant.

With the virus still a major risk, the Lakers celebrated this epic win with no live fans in the stands jumping and cheering, but many did not think this was the right way to celebrate a momentous victory.

After their 106-93 win in Game 6, thousands of fans swarmed to Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles dressed in their Laker gear – just as they did when they mourned for Kobe – for a more joyous occasion to celebrate the victory for Bryant’s successors. 

Ecstatic Laker Fans Celebrate Their Victory

Throughout Downtown Los Angeles, Kobe chants can be heard throughout the city.

As a tribute to Bryant and the Lakers, Los Angeles was lit in purple, including City Hall.

Celebrations Get a Bit Chaotic

Because Los Angeles still prohibits large gatherings, the LA City Public Health gave some suggestions on how to safely celebrate the Lakers win from home.

But many ignored these suggestions and put themselves at risk by gathering with thousands to celebrate.

However, as the night continued, the celebrations got a bit more rowdy and reckless as fans were seen climbing streetlights and lighting fireworks.

And it got even more chaotic when one super fan was seen doing donuts in the middle of a crowd.

One Twitter user shared an aggressive physical fight involving a group of energized fans..

 

Some people defeated the purpose of this event by utilizing the festivity as an opportunity to vandalize businesses and even a Metro bus.

Law Enforcement Gets Involved

When LAPD arrived to maintain order and keep Angelinos safe, they were greeted with glass bottles, rocks, and other projectiles. Because people became chaotic and violent, LAPD was forced to disperse the crowd with rubber bullets and tear gas leading 76 people to be arrested.

On Twitter, many are expressing their anger towards LAPD as they believed they used unnecessary excessive force on Laker fans.

Twitter Users are Frustrated with Los Angeles Mayor

To encourage people to stay safe, Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that people should stay home and reminded them that it is still not safe to gather in large groups.

 

However, many are critical of Mayor Garcetti’s tweets as they argued that he previously allowed Black Lives Matter protests, but will not allow them to celebrate a joyous occasion like the Lakers winning the championship.

Others are siding with Mayor Garcetti and urging people to wear masks and social distance.

However, the massive Lakers’ celebration is igniting Angelinos to demand Mayor Garcetti to lift the COVID-19 restrictions in Los Angeles.

What are your thoughts on the way Laker fans celebrated their championship title? Was Kobe’s legacy rightfully honored?