|HOT STUFF: Local Crenshaw street vendor displays assorted t-shirts for sale.|
Lakers don’t move so fast on Crenshaw Blvd.
For the fast moving street vendor Ricky D. located at Florence Ave. and Crenshaw Blvd., business is not as brisk for him as it was in 2000 when the Lakers began their monumental back-to-back-to-back NBA championship run.
“We blew up the city in Lakers gear,” the African American vendor told the Sentinel this week.
The Lakers are a hot topic again this year with their recent emergence to the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs and with high scoring Kobe Bryant almost a cinch to earn MVP honors one would think that any item with his image or likeness on it would be a top seller.
“Kobe is getting on my nerves,” shrugged the vendor.
With sky rocketing gasoline prices and the receding economy in ruins, everyone is feeling the pinch and for this local vendor it’s not any different.
“Ain’t nothing happening. The world is in a crisis, but give it a chance and let the Lakers get past the first round and we will see what happens,” he stated hopefully.
Although Blacks make up just four percent of the Los Angeles population of more than eight million, the little known street vendor such as Ricky D is still considered a trend establishment.
The flavor of the t-shirt can change at any moment with such individuals as Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama one of the most popular shirts these days, but other prominent Blacks who have died have also been commonly sold by the street vendor such as Johnnie Cochran, Ray Charles and Luther Vandross.
It’s also a risky business because the NBA or other collegiate or professional sports do not license the vendor’s teams.
However, for the Angeleno who is caught in the rush hour traffic and on his or her way to watch to game with a group of friends it’s convenient albeit not inexpensive at an average of $20 per shirt and tack on an additional $5 each time you go beyond extra large.
During such critical financial times, each and every dollar counts. Last year the vendor took a major hit with his Lakers items because the team did not make it out of the first round, so he still has plenty of that inventory remaining.
He’s banking that the Lakers can keep it going this year, so that he will not have to rely on just his popular Mother’s Day items.