Ring ceremony

The Lakers got their rings tonight before raising their 2008-09 championship banner in a ceremony that celebrated the franchise’s previous nine titles in Los Angeles. Representing past teams were: Jerry West (1972), Norm Nixon (1980), Jamal Wilkes (1982), James Worthy (1985), Michael Cooper (1987), Magic Johnson (1988), A.C. Green (2000), Rick Fox (2001) and Robert Horry (2002). Magic and Horry got the biggest cheers.

The Lakers’ trainers and coaches were introduced and given their rings with NBA commissioner David Stern acting as the master of ceremonies. Then it was the players’ turns. They smiled from ear to ear as they tried on their rings. For all but Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, it was their first championship hardware. Bryant and Fisher each picked up his fourth ring.

The rings are big and bright, by the way. They are 15-karat yellow and white gold. There also are 14 white diamonds surrounding a centered championship trophy. Each player’s name is inscribed on the side on his ring with his likeness and uniform number and the team’s regular-season record.