Will Dodgers Have a World Series Parade? LeBron James Wants Joint Celebration With Lakers

Even in a city with such a rich sporting pedigree as Los Angeles, October 2020 will go down in history. In just over two weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers clinched a first NBA title in a decade, before the Los Angeles Dodgers ended a 32-year wait for a World Series title on Tuesday night.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, has meant both triumphs have come in highly unusual circumstances. The Lakers won their 17th NBA title playing behind closed doors in Orlando, Florida rather than in front of a raucous Staples Center, while the Dodgers played all their six World Series games in front of a limited capacity crowd at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Frustratingly for the players, neither the Lakers nor the Dodgers are going to join their predecessors from yesteryear and enjoy a triumphant reception through the streets of Los Angeles.

The disappointment of missing out on a parade is particularly acute for LeBron James, who called for a joint celebration for the Lakers and the Dodgers.

"Man can we PLEASE have a parade!!! I know I know we can't but DAMN I wanna celebrate with our Lakers and Dodgers fans!!! LA is the city of CHAMPIONS," the four-time NBA champion tweeted.

Man can we PLEASE have a parade!!! I know I know we can’t but DAMN I wanna celebrate with our @Lakers & @Dodgers fans!!! LA is the city of CHAMPIONS 🏆🏆

— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 28, 2020

However, as James, who won a fourth NBA title and a fourth NBA Finals MVP two weeks ago, acknowledged himself, the prospect of fans being allowed to congregate en masse to celebrate a title—or for any other reason, for that matter—remains unlikely for the foreseeable future because of the pandemic.

After the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games two weeks ago, the franchise indicated a public celebration of some sort will take place as soon as it is deemed safe by health authorities.

"We cannot wait to celebrate our NBA title with our fans," the Lakers said in a statement published on Twitter.

"After consulting with the City and the County, we all agree that a joyful and inclusive public celebration will take place as soon as it is safe to do so."

The Dodgers retweeted James' plea for a joint celebration but, like the Lakers, they will follow the guidelines of the local authorities and put the parade on hold for the time being.

While neither the Lakers nor the Dodgers will officially be treated to a parade for a while, that hasn't stopped fans from pouring into the streets to celebrate their respective triumphs.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, over 1,000 Lakers fans took to the streets around Staples Center two weeks ago, while Dodgers fans gathered to celebrate outside Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.

Officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have warned the parties held by Lakers fan to celebrate the NBA title were likely to be responsible behind a recent spike in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, which has seen the number of average new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases climb from around 900 a day at the beginning of the month to approximately 1,200 a day.

"As fans continue to watch and celebrate the mighty LA sport teams, we are mindful that if individuals are not adhering to the health officer order requirements of distancing, infection control and masking, cases will continue to rise which, unfortunately, not only leads to increased illness and deaths, but also slows down our recovery journey," the agency said on Monday in a statement published by USA Today.

"It is impossible to determine the exact exposures that contributed to this increase. However, it is highly likely that gatherings to watch and/or celebrate the Lakers, along with any other gatherings that occurred 2-3 weeks ago where people weren't wearing face coverings and were in close contact with each other, contributed to the rise in LA County cases."

Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB
Fans celebrate from atop their vehicles in the parking lot of Dodgers Stadium after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series, October 27 in Los Angeles. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty