OC Lakers fan has massive collection at home, hopes to expand with another championship

If the Lakers win their 17th championship, David Kohler of Orange County might need to move to make room for his collection of memorabilia.
If the Lakers win their 17th championship, David Kohler of Orange County might need to move to make room for his collection of memorabilia.

Kohler has a colossal collection of Lakers items inside his home.

We're talking about shoes that Kobe Bryant wore at the 2001 NBA Finals and gave to the bus driver in Philadelphia who drove the team around. There's Jerry West's West Virginia University shooting jersey.

It's not just jerseys and shoes. Kohler's collection includes Wilt Chamberlain's bowling ball, a life-size bobblehead of Shaquille O'Neal, Chick Hearn's microphone. Even a piece of the floor from the Great Western Forum in Inglewood where Kohler was born and began his run as a Laker fanatic.

Kohler points to another prized item in his collection: "This basketball right here, this is the championship basketball when the Lakers finally won in 1972 with Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich and Elgin Baylor. The coach kept the final ball so that's a very historic piece."

Kohler is constantly looking to expand his collection and gets his memorabilia from a variety of places.

"I do get some stuff from auctions. I get some stuff right from the player. Sometimes someone will get something and have Kobe sign it, through the authenticators."

Kohler has been collecting for 35 years. Items in his collection date back to the Minneapolis Lakers in 1947, moving through the Sports Arena era, Showtime at the Forum, Shaq and Kobe at Staples Center and through this year's team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Kohler is hoping one day that this collection can be moved from his home to a much bigger place.

"The Lakers have such a storied franchise with all these championships. All these great teams and coaches and Chick Hearn announcers that are in the basketball Hall of Fame. People need to see this. Hopefully one day we can have this in Staples Center for every Lakers fan and basketball fan."
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