LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Lakers are up 3-1 in the NBA Finals and on the verge of winning their first championship in 10 years, but with COVID-19 still a threat, local public health officials are urging fans to stay home and celebrate responsibly.

“We’re still in the middle of a pandemic,” Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said. “Very excited that the Lakers are going to be playing this next game. And we just want to remind people the safest way to celebrate all of our teams, the Lakers and the Dodgers, is to do it in the comfort of your own home.”

Los Angeles Lakers fans celebrate after the team swept their third consecutive NBA National Championship title June 12, 2002 in Los Angeles, California. Some 18,000 fans gathered inside the Staples Center to watch the Lakers beat the New Jersey Nets 113-107 in game four on giant screen television. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Laker fans are famous for celebrating in rowdy and exuberant fashion when their team wins the NBA title, and those celebrations have occasionally ended with vandalism and fires set around Staples Center. And there likely won’t be a traditional victory parade to celebrate with the team and other fans and let off all that pent-up fan energy.

“There always is that concern that people will gather, and I want to remind people we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, we’re still seeing a high number of cases,” he said.

The Lakers have not been playing this year’s abbreviated playoffs in Los Angeles at all, but instead have ensconced in the NBA’s so-called bubble at Disney World in Florida. The LAPD says they have not made any special patrol changes in advance of Friday night’s next game against the Miami Heat, but they are prepared to respond if fans take to the streets.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Comments (16)
  1. Victor says:

    This is a legitimate season? Not.

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