The ceremony was special in that all of the players, one by one, took a turn on the microphone introducing the next player. It truly gave you a sense that this was a tight group, composed of members who cared for each other both as teammates and as individuals. When non-fans view a team like the Lakers from the outside -- especially with the highly-polarizing Kobe Bryant as the team's centerpiece -- the relationship aspect of the team's players is something that can easily be missed.
Below is a clip from the ceremony that illustrates this perfectly, as Derek Fisher introduces Kobe Bryant, and does so in a way that makes the pair seem extremely likable. Again, this really is no small feat considering who we're talking about here, especially when you consider how these guys are viewed by every NBA fan who doesn't cheer for the Lakers.
On to the rings themselves, and, as you might imagine, they are truly spectacular. And according to the man responsible for making them -- Jason Arasheben, CEO of Jason of Beverly Hills -- they are a game-changer in the sports memorabilia industry.
"With this particular ring, we were really successful in revolutionizing championship ring history," Arasheben said. "We've done something different that really, you've never seen on any championship ring in history.
"Each ring actually -- which is something you've never seen -- we've actually used the leather from the Game 7 ball that's incorporated in the underside of each and every ring. So every ring owner kind of gets to relive a piece of basketball history."
In addition to the game-used pieces of the Game 7 ball in each ring, the jewelry is further personalized for each individual player with that player's likeness sculpted into the side of their rings.
Tim Harris, Lakers' Senior Vice President of Business Operations, said that the team basically had two directives for Jason to get the rings made to its specifications.
"When we sat down with Jason, basically there were two marching orders," Harris said. "One was, we felt that, given the Lakers brand, when you view a Lakers championship ring, you should instantly know that's a Lakers championship ring. You should never have to ask 'what is that,' or 'what is that team.' So, it was very important to us that 'Lakers' was represented.
"The second was -- and this was the marching orders that we got from the team -- it has to be big. It has to be giant. And as you'll see, it's quite a big ring; it's pretty impressive."
The question of whether a ring could be too impressive -- or, more to the point, too big and too gaudy -- was posed to Phil Jackson before the game. His answer?
"Without a doubt," Jackson said. "Unwearable. And I always think it should be something that should be able to be worn."
Given who was responsible for the final decision on these rings, however, Jackson wisely didn't care to go down that road when speaking specifically about the 2010 version.
"But, seeing that [Lakers owner Jerry Buss] was the one who designed this one," Jackson said with a smile, "I think it's terrific."