A video screenshot of a man on a red motorcycle, surrounded by smoke and a crowd of people.
A Lakers fan blows out his motorcycle tire to a cheering crowd in downtown L.A. Source: @SamBraslow/Twitter.

Angelenos Climb Street Signs, Chant ‘Kobe’ As They Celebrate Lakers Championship Win

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Even if you don’t follow sports, you probably know that the Lakers won their 17th NBA championship last night, defeating the Miami Heat 106-93. There were fireworks, crowds gathered around the Staples Center, and things got a bit unruly, with at least 76 people arrested in downtown Los Angeles.

And on social media, it looks like this:

LeBron James told fans how much the team has missed playing in them.

All teams made it through the playoffs without a positive COVID-19 test thanks to rigorous safety practices, like not playing in front of spectators.

As Magic Johnson pointed out, the Lakers are now tied with the Boston Celtics, with 17 NBA championship wins.

The team received many congratulations, including from former President Barack Obama.

But not from one weirdly unhinged and bitter Rudy Giuliani, who — WTF?

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti encouraged everyone to stay home and celebrate safely.

That did not happen. As evidenced by the crowds gathered in downtown L.A. last night.

Fans chanted “Kobe” over and over again in honor of the late Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Bryant spent his 20-year career, from 1996 to 2016, with the Lakers.

Social media lit up with even more tributes for the late Lakers star:

Fans set off fireworks, and buildings lit up in purple and gold.

Among them were Union Station and City Hall.

Even TikTok star Nathan Apodaca got in on the action from afar, this time skateboarding in a Lakers jersey to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” He traded in his trademark bottle of Ocean Spray for a bottle of JaM Cellars Butter Chardonnay.

You may be wondering about pandemic safety during such a celebration. While some revelers were seen with their masks on, others took to the streets in their cars.

But none were safer than this person in a bubble. 

Much less safe: This guy dangling from a street sign on Pico Boulevard, though he seemed to make it down just fine.

The Los Angeles Police Department eventually responded to the festivities, citing 76 arrests and damage to over 30 buildings, as well as eight injured officers and two injured civilians via less lethal munitions.

R.I.P. Starbucks.

Beverly Hills Courier reporter Samuel Braslow was on the scene, following the crowd and police. At one point, Braslow tweeted that the LAPD hit his phone out of his hand with one of the munitions, but he stayed on top of it.

Some disturbing footage of police responding with violence has also emerged. Some of it was shot by L.A. Taco’s Lexis-Olivier Ray, who you should absolutely follow on Twitter. He covers protests, and he was on-scene for last night’s events, too.

As you may recall, the LAPD is investigating dozens of allegations of use of force during protests a few months ago.

In a typical year, Los Angeles would host a celebratory parade. However, according to TMZ, County and City officials are not quite ready to do that during a pandemic. They did toss around the idea of a drive-in celebration but ultimately decided that wouldn’t be fitting.

Los Angeleno