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The Ring's the Thing

Oct 30 2002 11:05AM
For the third year in a row, the Lakers have chosen Masters of Design to design and manufacture the 2001-2002 NBA Championship Ring. Howard Kaplan and Bob Bourbeau, sports specialist with Masters of Design, headed up the team that created the rings. This year's rings are not only symbols of excellence, but they themselves are a design with much symbolism.

The ring is made from 14 Kt. yellow gold and weighs approximately 50 pennyweight, making it the heaviest ring the Lakers have ever presented. Around the bezel of the ring are the words. "LAKERS WORLD CHAMPIONS." The word Lakers is in the Lakers logotype. On the bottom of the bezel, there are 8 brilliant cut diamonds weighing about .40Ct. total weight. The eight diamonds represent te 8 championships which the Lakers have won under the ownership of Dr. Jerry Buss. At the top of the bezel, there are 6 brilliant cut diamonds weighing approximately .30Ct. total weight. These represent the 6 other titles won by both the Los Angeles and Minneapolis Lakers.

On the top, there are 61 round yellow diamonds weighing approximately .75Ct. total weigt. These stones are set in yellow gold. The yellow diamonds represent one of the official colors of the Lakers. In the center of the top is a 1.50Ct. genuine amethyst, which is bezel set. The color of the amethyst represents purple, the other official color of the Lakers. Around this bezel are the words "BACK BACK BACK", representing the three consecutive championships. There are also 3 trillion cut genuine white diamonds weighing approximately .75Ct. total weight which represents the three championships in a row and the triangle offense.

On one side of the ring are the recipient's name, the NBA logo and for the players, their number. All of these are cut out letters and numbers. On this side are also the regular season and playoff records.

The other side of the ring contains the Lakers official logo. On this side is also a microphone with the name CHICK on it. This is a memorial to the legendary announcer Chick Hearn who passed away over the off-season. On this side are the words "SLAM DUNK", one of Chick's many sayings. Finally at the bottom of this side is the year 2002. The largest size ring is 16 1/2, the smallest 8 1/2.