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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congratulating NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, H. Res. 566

August 4, 2009
Floor Statement
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA]: Madam Speaker, I am very appreciative of my colleague from Massachusetts and his leadership on this issue and for recognizing me to stand as a proud Los Angeleno, joined by 50 other of my colleagues to congratulate the extraordinary Los Angeles Lakers for their 2009 NBA championship. This resolution, H. Res. 566, commemorates the Los Angeles Lakers' 15th National Basketball Association championship.

Prior to the 2008-2009 season, the Lakers won 14 National Basketball Association championships with a cast of Hall of Famers and coaches, which included NBA greats such as Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Pat Riley, and current Head Coach Phil Jackson.

This season, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, and Trevor Ariza led the 2008-2009 Lakers to a 65-17 regular season record and the number one spot in the Western Conference Playoffs. Not only did Trevor Ariza help to bring another championship to Los Angeles, he also attended Westchester High School in my district.

The Lakers entered the NBA Playoffs with home court advantage as a result of the team's regular season performance, and in the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz in five games to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

The Lakers then faced the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals, winning seven games, and advanced to the Western Conference Finals where they faced the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers clinched the Western Conference Finals in six games, thanks to the outstanding play by Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, which closed out the series.

In the NBA Finals, the Lakers matched up with the Orlando Magic, led by Dwight Howard. The Lakers won the first two games of the Finals in Los Angeles, including a hard-fought game 2, during which Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol combined for 53 points, propelling the Lakers to a 101-96 victory. The Lakers lost game 3 in Orlando by a score of 108-104; however, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and played all but 8 minutes of the game.

The Lakers followed their loss in game 3 by winning the next two games in Orlando to win the 2009 NBA championship. For his outstanding play during the NBA Finals, Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant was presented with the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award and his fourth NBA championship. Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson won his 10th NBA championship as a head coach and his 12th NBA championship overall.

Congratulations to the Lakers players, coaches, and staff on winning the 2008-2009 NBA championship.