The National Basketball Association champion Los Angeles Lakers, known for their fast-break offense, hurried through a victory celebration on the City Hall lawn today, cutting short the noontime show by 35 minutes when several persons suffered minor injuries in the crush of the surging crowd.
Cheering fans pressed forward against a barricade of 50-gallon barrels filled with water, while others perched on monuments and hung from trees.
"The spectators weren't hostile; they just had no place to go," said Los Angeles police spokesman Lt. Dan Cooke. He estimated that more than 30,000 gathered at City Hall and along the 10-block parade route.
About 30 fans were treated for injuries, several collapsed of apparent heat prostration and more than 100 had to be lifted over the barricades, which separated the crowd from the players, politicians and other dignitaries. Only one of the injured, a 16-year-old boy who had spinal and neck injuries from falling out of a tree, required hospitalization.
Cooke said there were at least two arrests in the generally good-natured crowd. One man arrested was "stark-naked attacking a television truck," Cooke said.
Lakers star Earvin (Magic) Johnson improvised a victory dance on the stairs of City Hall and told the crowd: "It feels great! It feels good! Let's do it again next season!"
"We know we let everybody, including ourselves, down last year," said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Lakers' 38-year-old captain who was honored as the series' most valuable player. "But we stuck with it, we didn't stop working, we didn't stop fighting."
From City Hall, the Lakers journeyed to Inglewood, site of the Forum, where they were congratulated by Mayor Edward Vincent. Inglewood police said a larger-than-expected crowd of 8,000 showed up, but described the group as peaceful.