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Ceremony shows Lakers' class

October 27, 2010 - Neil Rudel
The NBA staged its opening night Tuesday and the talk of the league, of course, was Miami's visit to Boston. Not surprisingly, the Celtics used their chemistry to stay ahead of the star-studded Heat and won, 88-80, in a playoff atmosphere in Boston. Miami will eventually be fine, but it will not win 70 games and will struggle to make the NBA Finals. Even more interesting, at least, to me was the scene at the Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Lakers were presented with their championship rings. The pre-game ceremony took about 15 minutes, and I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like it in professional sports. It was filled with class and love -- teammates for each other and surely the Lakers' fans for their heroes. It started with NBA Commissioner David Stern, who is easily the best in sports, congratulating the team and introducing Phil Jackson, who has 11 league titles. Jackson mentioned the four players no longer with the team who were part of the championship. He called upon Luke Walton, and then, one-by-one, each player introduced a teammate, leading up to the "MVP chants" of Kobe Bryant, for the ring presentation. I've been to one Laker game live, and it is truly a show. From the stars in the crowd to the music to the Laker girls to the team that has won 11 titles, it's safe to say there's no organization in pro sports history that does it better. You can see the ceremony here:

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