Magic Johnson addresses the crowd in Las Vegas before the Lakers' preseason game on Oct. 8, 2017.
(Ty Nowell/

Magic Johnson Addresses Crowd Before Las Vegas Game

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

The Lakers stood side-by-side at center court with heavy hearts in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Exactly one week before, a mass shooting took the lives of 58 concertgoers at a country music festival on the Las Vegas strip.

Players, along with Owner and President Jeanie Buss, donned #VegasStrong warmup shirts, as President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson grabbed a microphone to speak to the crowd.

“We want to make sure that evil and hate don’t stop us from coming to Las Vegas, because this is a great city and we live in a great country,” Johnson said to a cheering audience.

Johnson and Buss stood at mid-court with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and President of Basketball Operations Vlade Divac.

Two days before, the Lakers, Kings, T-Mobile Arena, AEG and MGM Resorts International announced that all proceeds from the game will directly benefit the tragedy’s victims, families and first responders.

“It doesn’t matter (about) the color of your skin,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican — we have to come together and support everybody who was involved.”

Johnson then had the entire arena link arms for a moment of silence dedicated to victims of the atrocity, saying that “evil and hate will never win.”

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