Lakers sprawl vs. Celtics 90210

As the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics prepare for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, it is interesting to note the difference in accessibility between the home team and road team, particularly in a championship series situation.

During the first leg of the Finals, the Lakers will practice at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo (five minutes south of LAX) and then head back to their respective homes scattered throughout the Los Angeles area.

For example, forwards Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol live close by in the South Bay cities of Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach respectively.  Point guard Derek Fisher lives in the San Fernando Valley city of Calabasas and fellow guard Kobe Bryant resides in the Orange County community of Newport Coast.

Bryant chooses to live 44 miles from El Segundo and 49 miles from Staples Center, located in Downtown Los Angeles.  Because of the increased distance, the all-time great amazingly commutes to work via helicopter.  Immense wealth certainly has its privileges.  

The chances of encountering a Laker are pretty remote, unless a fan elects to spend time outside of the team's gated parking lot in El Segundo or their enclosed parking facility at Staples Center. The team does their work and leaves for the comforts of home. Bumping into someone would involve pure coincidence.

On the contrary, the opportunity of encountering a Celtic is considerably stronger during the LA portion of the Finals.

The Celtics are staying at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, located at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Rodeo Drive, in the heart of Beverly Hills.  Since the team‘s Monday arrival, a fan has already shared a story about seeing guard Ray Allen board a Rolls Royce right outside the hotel.

A source also has reported seeing former Celtic and current radio analyst Cedric Maxwell eating at The Farm of Beverly Hills on Beverly Drive.

The Celtics will be conducting practice activity between Staples Center, El Segundo and Pauley Pavilion, on the campus of UCLA. The university is located a five minute drive west of Beverly Hills, on Wilshire Blvd., in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westwood Village.

If hoops fans are looking to peruse the main streets of Beverly Hills (Wilshire Blvd, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Drive, Canon Drive, Camden Drive), there is a strong possibility of rubbing elbows with the boys from Boston.

Beverly Hills even affords fans the chance of seeing Lakers legend Magic Johnson.  His office is located a few blocks east, near the intersection of Wilshire and Doheny Drive.

So, while the games will be settled in Downtown LA, much of the action will be centered in an area known the world over for its wealth and elegance.