Thursday, May 15, 2008


There's one thing wrong with Staples Center that Utah Jazz player Kyrylo Fesenko has noticed.

"You don't have mascot!" Actually Fesenko, L.A. has many mascots - and they're called celebrities.

Returning home to Tinsel Town for Game 5 after two road losses in Salt Lake, couldn't have been brighter for the Lakers who were warmly welcomed by plenty of familiar famous faces at Staples Center.

Wednesday's game included Tobey Maguire, Denzel Washington, David Beckham, David Arquette, Harvey Weinstein, Jack Nicholson, Heather Locklear, Jack Wagner, Lou Adler, Jon Favreau, Brian Grazer, Chris Tucker, Andy Garcia and Dyan Cannon.

And the star-struck Jazz took notice.

"When I saw Denzel Washington that was pretty cool because I'm a big fan," Ronnie Price says. "I watch all of his movies and seeing him at the basketball game was kind of crazy."

While the Jazz may have been focused on the game, it can be hard for even the un-fazed not to stare. "I know just without even trying you can spot celebrities," Price says. "I just notice that people look difference in person. Sometimes movies make people look different. They all are shorter in person."

Not that you can blame the Jazz.

You don't exactly see too many celebrities in Utah - unless of course, you count the High School Musical teen stars Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale that made a cameo appearance at Game 4 in Salt Lake.

The celebrity-effect is an unexplainable one. Even the Lakers admit that L.A. isn't the most hostile stadium in the league. "People are sitting down most of the game until something happens and you get cheered by them," Jordan Farmar says. "You go on the road and it's loud from beginning to end."

The Jazz agree. "You see more signs and more obnoxious things in other places," Matt Harping says.

But L.A. still remains one of the most difficult cities to play at.