Lakers' Brewer recalls fires en route to airport

From ESPN - December 7, 2017

PHILADELPHIA -- Corey Brewer got a phone call at 5:30 Wednesday morning, hours before he was supposed to leave his Tarzana, California, home to catch the Los Angeles Lakers' team flight to Philadelphia.

His Uber driver called multiple times until Brewer finally picked up, telling Brewer that they had to go then if he was going to make his flight, what with Los Angeles' Skirball Fire fast approaching the 405 freeway.

As Brewer sat in the back of his ride down the 405, the Lakers forward, like so many other horrified Los Angeles commuters that morning, could not believe the sight he saw. The usual canyon scenery on the 405 was replaced by fire smoldering down one side of the canyon, like red lava flowing out of a volcano.

"It was crazy," Brewer said. "Flames and stuff. So we ended up going another way. It's crazy right now. All you can do is pray for the people in L.A. Pray for the people in the mountains all over there. It was bad. They said it's getting even worse. They said the wind is getting crazy right now. I think the wind is going to really make it bad."

"I am lucky," Brewer continued. "Right now [his home is] OK. I go in my backyard and see all the smoke. Smells. Ash. Went through a hurricane this year. Now I am going through fires."

This is the second natural disaster Brewer has experienced in just under five months. Brewer, who was traded in February from the Rockets to the Lakers, spent the offseason in Houston and was there during Hurricane Harvey in August. Brewer said he was incredibly fortunate that the water only got "all the way up to the front of my house and then went back down." His house avoided damage.

Brewer -- who played in his 301st consecutive game on Thursday against the 76ers, the longest active streak in the NBA -- said if it had not been for his Uber driver, someone that he has befriended and employed often in Los Angeles, he would have missed the team flight.


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