I love L.A.!

Posted by Alex W.C. on 1:34 PM

Stop number 4 of my trip took me to the Staples center in Los Angeles, CA; home of the world champion LA Lakers and the world champion LA Sparks. (They must have a big trophy case, no?) My timing couldn’t be better, as this was the first game for superstar Candace Parker to hit the court since she gave birth to her first daughter in May. Also, what made things even more interesting was that my hometown team, the Phoenix Mercury were the visiting team for the game. I’ve never experienced my team playing anywhere but their home court. It was an evening of mixed emotions, as I cheered for my home team, (a little more reserved than I am at US Airways arena) I did feel some obligation to respect the host team. Either way, it’s always a great game when Phoenix takes on L.A.

Before the game, I had a chance to walk around the Staples center to see the Michael Jackson memorial. This Tuesday (which is actually the day I am writing this) is set to be the day that thousands will flock to Los Angeles to see a remembrance of the King of Pop. There was a steady line to sign the memorial poster, which didn’t seem to go down at any time of the day. I snapped a few pics from well wishers up close.

But wouldn’t you know it, anywhere there is an event, someone is going to take the opportunity to make a buck. This guy (see photo) was there selling soda that he called “The King of POP.” (pop – soda – get it?) It was just soda with MJ’s picture on the label. I mean really, I thought I had seen everything, but selling carbonated beverages with Michael’s likeness at his own memorial? Do people have no shame?

I would not be surprised if sometime during the memorial, hordes of knock-off t shirts and pictures will be offered up to make a dollar off of Michael’s name. To me, that is the saddest thing. :-(

Anyway, on to the game. It was back and forth for most of the 1st and 2nd period, each team pushing just a little harder with each play. Candace didn’t start, but she was added to the line up later, with much cheering from the LA crowd. The most unbelievable shot came just at the end of the second half. I will try to describe it, but it was one of those, “you had to be there” kind of things. In the final seconds of the second half, L.A. was running the ball down the court. As the clock ran down, Thompson fired off a pass to Noelle Quinn, in the corner, who caught the ball, and as she was falling out of bounds, standing on one foot (almost behind the backboard!) put up a shot and the ball caught nothing but net just as the buzzer sounded. It was a great morale booster, as that shot put L.A. up by 6 at the half. Then DeWanna “Sticks” Bonner came in the 3rd q with 12 points and six rebounds (and a double-double - 10 rebounds & 17 points for the game). In the 4th the Mercury had an 11-0 run with gave them the 100+ point win. I was so excited, I did the Mercury Victory Dance! (on the inside, of course.)

Post game I was introduced to the entire team in the locker room...and not individually! It was like elementary school "show and tell" all over again. *laugh* Needless to say I was a bit lost for words, as I tried to explain who I was and my journey. The mood was rather somber (as you can imagine) so I kept my words brief. I was able to grab a few quick minutes with CP 3, Candace Parker. We talked about basketball and motherhood. C’mon, what else do you talk to Candace Parker about?

L.A. was a great time and a great game. The one thing I can say is the fans love their Sparks (almost as much as I love my Mercury! *laugh* ) Now, I am off to Sacramento – or as many have referred to it as Sac-Town. C-ya at ARCO arena!


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