LOS ANGELES — Fans lined up along a two-mile route in downtown Los Angeles early Monday, jostling for a front row seat for the downsized, drive-by parade that will stand for the Lakers’ victory lap celebrating their 16th NBA title.
It’s a two-mile toast to the Lakers, who will travel aboard a flatbed float from the Staples Center to the Galen Center at the University of Southern California. The Lakers will be interviewed on loudspeakers as they roll along.
Officials have estimated as many as 2 million fans could line the route. There will be no rally, no speeches, no music and no other hoopla at the beginning or the end.
Police Chief Charlie Beck held a 5 a.m. news conference to warn troublemakers that police would not tolerate a repeat of the violence that occurred Thursday when the Lakers won the NBA championship. There were no serious injuries, but a lot of damage from vandalism and fires.
"If you’re coming here to vandalize, if you’re coming her to disrupt, well, then you’re going to stay because we are going to put you in jail," Beck said. "This parade is a family event. This parade is a celebration of a victory of a great sports franchise. Please don’t mar it by acting in an unruly, unsafe manner. We’re looking for a safe celebration."
The Lakers were footing the bill for the Figueroa Street parade. Temperatures in the mid-70s were expected along the parade route.