June 17, 2010
By Daisy Nguyen
LOS ANGELES – City officials are warning basketball fans to stay away from downtown unless they have tickets to Game 7 of the NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
In an attempt to prevent the kind of unrest that broke out after the Lakers won last year’s championship, police will deploy hundreds of officers around Staples Center and other parts of the city Thursday to deter anyone from spoiling a potential celebration should the Lakers seize their 16th national championship.
“Win or lose let’s honor our hometown team for the amazing season they’ve given us and let’s honor our city and our neighbors by respecting all our laws,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged fans Wednesday.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said officers will set up a perimeter around Staples Center to let in only those with tickets to the game. Tactical units will stick around afterward to dissuade fans from congregating outside the arena.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said he has notified hundreds of deputies to be on hand in case the police department needs backup.