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Laker Girl books Prince Jewelers

Not that anybody would care, but my favorite Christmas present was a book. It beat out a pair of L.L. Bean slippers by a considerable margin.

Larry Stewart

Larry Stewart

This just wasn’t any book. Titled “Laker Girl,” it’s a diary by Jeanie Buss, who, with help from my former Los Angeles Times colleague Steve Springer, takes readers through the 2009-2010 NBA season. Jeanie, the Lakers’ executive vice president, provides insight into her life as well as those of her father, Laker owner Jerry Buss, and her boyfriend, Laker coach Phil Jackson. The passage in the book that really caught my eye was about fellow Arcadia resident Si “Lam” Huynh, the owner of Prince Jewelers on Huntington Drive. Readers of my blog are probably aware of my relationship with Lam and how I connected him with Jeanie and Phil in 2009. I arranged for Lam to present cufflinks to Phil and a pendant to Jeanie. Here’s what Jeanie wrote about Lam and that event, which took place in a private room at Staples Center Nov. 8, 2009:

“Phil and I had a wonderful experience prior to tonight’s game. Si “Lam” Huynh of Prince Jewelers in Arcadia presented Phil with custom-made cufflinks containing 10 diamonds on each in the form of Xs to represent the 10 championships Phil has won. (The number is now 11). His name and the title years are engraved on the side. “As if that weren’t enough, Lam presented me with a gorgeous pendant containing five amethyst stones, representing the five players on a court, surrounding a diamond-studded golf basketball. All of it was contained in a gold circle made to look like a rim. “Phil and I are lucky to be in a position where people give us gifts that are so rare and so personal. I was touched that Lam would do that. “And to do it for nothing. “He refused to take money for his handiwork. He did agree to tickets for the game and dinner up in the Arena Club, but that hardly equaled the value of these pieces. “I didn’t know what else to say or do. The whole experience was humbling and a bit overwhelming. “I’m under no illusions as to why I, in particular, am the recipient of such gifts. It’s because of the love people have for the Lakers, because of what that brand means to them. It certainly isn’t because of anything I have done. “That’s why it is so important to me to be accessible to the fans, to hear their stories about how the team has affected their lives. “I kept Lam’s business card and made sure to mention to Phil that Lam makes all sorts of really nice stuff and that the holidays are coming up. “It was the least I could do for Lam.” Postscript: Unfortunately for Jeanie, Lam has not heard from Phil since their initial meeting. But Jeanie has stayed in contact and invited him as her guest to other Laker games, including this season’s home opener. At that game, Jeanie wore her Prince Jewelers pendant when she handed out the Laker championship rings on national television. Lam said he made the two pieces of jewelry because of his and his son Jordan’s love of the Lakers. Lam says he had no ulterior motive, but is sure glad he did it.

— By Larry Stewart


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