October 28, 2009
One by one, Lakers players and coaches walked toward center court Tuesday night to receive their 2008-09 championship keepsake from David Stern and Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss.
Not the Larry O'Brien trophy — that stays with the owner Jerry Buss and the team. Not the franchise's 15th championship banner — that was unveiled (ever so slowly) in the rafters for the fans. And not even a free Jack in the Box coupon — those also went home with the hungry Lakers' faithful.
No, for the players, there was something even more coveted than a sloppy 99-cent taco — the bling, baby.
• The Jeweler: High-profile jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills created the rings from a special batch of 15-karat Laker gold to commemorate their 15th NBA championship. Most rings are 14-karat gold.
• The Jewels: The ring is comprised of 15 diamonds weighing in at 2.85 carats. (Note: Khloe's is 9 carats.)
• The Price: It's tough to say. Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times figures each ring is worth "at least $10,000." That sounds way too low. In fact, I know someone that knows someone who was given an "employee ring" a few years that was about $7,000 itself. I imagine the "player ice" is considerably more expensive. If I had to guess the Lakers' price tag, I'd say $30K.
• The Design: This is cool: The ring mirrors the shape of the exterior of their home arena, the Staples Center. When viewed from the side, you can see the "roof" and "sides" of the Lakers' home court. Also, each player has an image of his face inscribed on the side of his ring, the first time such a feature had been included on NBA championship rings.
• The Box: Yes, the box. When opened, each box has two built-in LED spotlights that actually shine on the ring. Oh, the ring is also mounted on a rotating mechanical platform. The box is basically a mini-nightclub.