Lakers fans flock to Game 1 of NBA Finals

LOS ANGELES It seems fans will wait just about forever for a chance to see their team in person. Early on Thursday, the morning of Game 1, fans were already at /*Staples Center*/, hoping to get a ticket to the show.

Rick Jansen was the first in line on Thursday morning. He was waiting to see if the team releases unused player tickets. He says it worked for him before.

"It's a crapshoot," said Jansen. "We're hoping that we get a ticket to go in the game. Back in '01, when they did the three-peat. We were able to take tents and sleeping bags and be able to hang out across the street. And now they built all the buildings and everything … And now we just got a line that we just have to wait in front of the Staples."

Jansen wasn't alone. /*Lakers*/ fan Jerry Fletcher went to Staples Center with his sons, expecting to wait a long time.

"We got here around 6:30," said Fletcher. "All day … Just hoping to get a ticket. There's no guarantee, but we're hoping."

"I really want to see the game," said Reed Fletcher, who says he doesn't mind waiting 12 hours just to get into the game.

Early Thursday morning workers put the finishing touches on a huge Lakers banner on the west side of Staples Center. It is three stories high and took two days to put together. Some new banners now adorn the new 662-foot tower at L.A. Live. The banners are the city's largest at 118 feet long.

At the Team L.A. store, fans bought up Lakers memorabilia. If it was purple and gold, it was selling. NBA officials say just make sure whatever you buy is the real deal. They say there have been a lot of counterfeit items out there.

"I think they've collected about $400 million worth of counterfeit merchandise," said Michael Roth, AEG Communications. "It's out there."

The fans say they know it will be a very long day and that they may not get a ticket. But if they do, they say it will all be worth it.

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