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LeBron breaks out the stogies, plays the tables as Lakers hit Vegas

Updated October 19, 2020 - 2:08 pm

The NBA champs are out of the bubble and back in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly checked in to The Mansion at MGM Grand and have booked Encore Beach Club’s dayclub for a team party and respite Sunday.

The Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 on Oct. 11 for the 17th championship in franchise history.

According to sources familiar with the team’s activities who are not authorized to speak for the record, the Lakers’ full roster and support staff checked into the regal Mansion on Friday night. The champs were reportedly masked upon arrival. They later bought out the restaurant at The Mansion. Such stars as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, J.R. Smith and Kyle Kuzma were reportedly in the mix.

Team members later hung at the Wet Republic day club. They brought the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy. Saturday night, the team dined at Lavo Saturday night saw the entire Los Angeles Lakers team celebrating their championship at Lavo Italian Restaurant at The Venetian, with the championship trophy set in the middle of the table.

As the party unfurled to the evening, James posted photos and videos of himself playing blackjack while smoking a cigar and wearing an L.A. Dodgers jersey. He tagged NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed with a shot of the stogey, asking, “What we smokin’ on???”

The private party moved to Marquee day club at the Cosmopolitan, where Smith (wearing a shirt during this frivolity) took to the DJ booth.

For Sunday, members of the team rented the entire Encore Beach Club outdoor annex at Wynn Las Vegas. The space was been closed to the public that day. Boxing great and renowned wealthy person Floyd Mayweather was on the scene.

According to a hotel news release, the assembled partiers were welcomed by EBC staffers in Lakers attire. They welcomed the champs with a 12-liter bottle of Moet & Chandon, and 36 bottles of Cincoro Tequila delivered in an EBC company car, which happened to be a branded Bugatti.

The team paid for the exclusivity. Previously booked reservations for the club were canceled and refunded. The team reportedly paid a minimum of $50,000 for the club, not including tax and gratuities, which could push the outlay to close to $100,000.

The Lakers prevailed in a truncated playoff format held in the “bubble,” the league’s isolation area at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida. Games were played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and teams stayed at Disney World hotels.

Because of COVID safety concerns, no victory parade is planned through the streets of Los Angeles, and no public team celebration in downtown has yet been arranged.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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