"Venice Beach. I like to roll by Venice Beach. It's one of the wildest scenes in L.A. - a boardwalk where thousands of people hang out on weekends. There are sidewalk vendors, bars, restaurants, and the famous Muscle Beach, where everyone works out in the sun. But the best thing about Venice is the street performers: jugglers, comedians, fire-eaters, and a guy who juggles three chain saws at once."

LUNCH
"Houston's. The one in L.A. is like any other Houston's across the country. I love their brownie with ice cream. It's called the Five Nut Brownie because it has five different nuts, and it also has ice cream and caramel on top. You can get it with or without ice cream. I start out with that as an appetizer. Then, I'll go for some barbecue ribs, which are called "knife and fork" ribs because they're so tender. The meat falls off the bone. Or maybe the slow-roasted prime rib of beef. They cook it until it's as tender as the ribs. I go to Houston's at least twice a month. I like the one over in the Century City Shopping Center, an indoor-outdoor shopping center that has more than a hundred stores, restaurants, and a multiplex movie theater."

ONE SPECIAL DAY


My favorite night in L.A. was during the streak to the finals in 2000. It was great bringing a championship back to L.A. They hadn't won in 12 years. It was June 19, 2000. We had just beaten the Indiana Pacers, and I won my first ring. When the game ended, we were all on the floor of the Staples Center: all of my family, my friends, my three-year-old daughter, even my mother. The confetti was coming down, the crowd was going crazy, and I started to cry. I really did, right there in front of everybody. In my book, I write that my tears were a release. I felt like I was finally answering all of the critics who said I didn't know how to win. Looking back now, I see that night was also typical of L.A. Everybody always wants to know what you're going to do next. After we won, everybody was saying, 'Congratulations. Now, let's go get another one.'"