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Friday, June 06, 2008

The NBA Finals – It’s FANtastic 

Posted by David Allen Tyau at 10:18 PM ET

When I was in college back in the mid 1980’s, it seemed like every June the Boston Celtics would battle the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA title. It was a contest between two diametrically opposed teams as philosophically different as the cities they represented. It was Magic Johnson versus Larry Bird. It was Showtime versus Slowdown. It was Good versus Evil. It was great theatre and even more, great basketball. Those were the glory days of NBA basketball.


This year, we have a rematch of the two most tradition rich basketball franchises. Only time will tell whether these two ancient foes can relive the titanic battles that made this rivalry special and rekindle that magic of old.


For the average fan, the cost of a ticket to the NBA finals is prohibitive. But the Lakers have an answer called The Home Court Advantage. Live broadcasts of road games are shown on the arena’s four giant scoreboard screens and performances by the Laker Girls help provide all those in attendance with a true game night experience.


Unless you are James or Sasha and have media credential, for someone like me the real benefit of Home Court Advantage is being able to see the Laker Girls perform up close, a rare thing indeed. When you think of the iconic professional “cheerleading” squads, two organizations come to mind: the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Laker Girls. They are unquestionably the most renowned and distinguished squads in their respective sports and for good reason.


When you get a chance to see the one of these elite squads up close, you bring your camera and take advantage of this rare opportunity. So, without further ado, the Laker Girls.


Let’s start off with a couple of my favorites, Annika and Whitney, two gorgeous young ladies who have one thing in common other than being Laker Girls…they are both UCLA Bruins.


Laker Girls


Laker Girls


You might have noticed Whitney. She was a member of the inaugural Boston Celtics Dancers last year, but has since relocated back to sunny California . I wonder if she will have any mixed feelings regarding…Nah.


Now one of the challenges photographing the Laker Girls at Staples Center is the lighting. It’s dreadful. And it’s even worse for Home Court Advantage, where they turn off all lights except for the ones they use to project graphics on the court. Sometimes you get some images with funky colors and sometimes you get some fascinatingly impressionistic photos. But sometimes, you get lucky and capture a few microseconds of spot lighting.


Laker Girls


Here’s Tiffany (sans the curly hair), Nicole and a couple of photos of the statuesque Jessica G. in “good lighting”.


Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls


And some photographs of Laker Girls Bria, Lindsay, Vivian, Jeri-Faye and Pennee.


Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls


And here are a few photographs of Angel, Katie, Stefanie, Jenna and Richelle taken during halftime introductions.


Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls


If I am not mistaken, Tiffany is sporting a different hairdo in these more recent photos. Her trade marked curls are back.


Laker Girls

Laker Girls


Jessica E. and Richelle dance up a storm in front of the diehard Laker fans.


Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls


By the way, Jessica E. served as master of ceremonies, getting the crowd pumped up for the evening’s festivities. And speaking of festivities, here are a few more photographs of UCLA’s finest Laker Girls, Annika and Whitney.


Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls

Laker Girls


And finally, I present a couple of impressionistic images, a serendipitous bit of good fortune born out of low light and a slow shutter speed.


Laker Girls

Laker Girls

These photographs do not do justice to the beauty and talent of the Laker Girls. With well coiffed hair and perfect make up, the Laker Girls always look stunning in their stylish, sexy outfits. They are beautiful girls, who dance beautifully. Simply stated, the Laker Girls are the class of the NBA.


Director of Game Operations and Entertainment Lisa Estrada has done an outstanding job in creating an enjoyable fan experience with the Lakers Home Court Advantage. All the proceeds from the Lakers Home Court Advantage are donated to the Lakers Youth Foundation and the Staples Center Foundation. In years past, Home Court Advantage has raised over $300,000 for these charities. So, if you are in the Los Angeles area, come down to the Staples Center to watch the Laker Girls and support a couple of good charities.


For more information the Lakers Home Court Advantage, please click on the link below:

http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/08hca.html

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