Once every so often, Hans Khademi receives a phone call asking if Kobe Bryant is coming to his restaurant anytime soon.
"Like I'm supposed to know," says Khademi, who owns La Fogata Rotisserie Chicken in Corona del Mar.
Even if Khadmemi knew he wouldn't tell others because Bryant is one of his favorite customers and he doesn't want the Los Angeles Lakers star to be bothered. Khademi wants the famous Newport Coast resident to feel right at home.
Khademi has been a Lakers fan since the days of Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. He was thrilled when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would eat at his restaurant, and he's just as ecstatic to have Bryant dine there with his family.
Khademi is one of many local business owners or residents who feel they have a special interest in today's NBA Finals Game 7 against the Boston Celtics. Their favorite basketball player - for some a great customer and to others a good guy - is playing for his fifth NBA championship ring.