June 18, 2009: The NBA Finals were shown on ABC, and the two teams - the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic - represented places that are home to Disneyland and Disney World, respectively. So it makes sense that Disney, which owns ABC and ESPN, opened the gates of it's Anaheim, Calif.-based Disneyland today (June 18) for a victory parade for the NBA champion Lakers. The event, on Main Street USA, included NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant but no other players. "It's like a dream come true to be here and celebrate at Disneyland, coming down Main Street U.S.A. with all the fans cheering," Bryant, who also rode the Matterhorn, said after the parade. "It's a tremendous honor to represent my team."
The parade, which followed a celebration on June 17 in Los Angeles that included nearly 100,000 people at the Los Angeles Coliseum, also included Disneyland president Ed Grier, who made a celebratory wager on the outcome of the NBA Finals with Walt Disney World president Meg Crofton. If the Orlando Magic had won, Grier promised to walk down Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland wearing a pair of specially made Mickey Mouse ears in Magic blue and silver. But now that the Lakers have triumphed, Crofton will don a pair of Lakers' purple and gold mouse ears and walk down Main Street, U.S.A. at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom. "The Lakers are going to make your team very Grumpy this week," Grier correctly predicted to Crofton. "I heard there was a little competition with Disneyland and Disney World and we won," Bryant said, "so our colors are staying up a little bit longer."
Disney also has produced a special T-shirt to honor the Lakers, complete with images of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. Back to Home Page