The oft-times riot-tested LAPD are taking no chances with the potential of unrest in downtown Los Angeles after tonight’s Game 7 between the Lakers and the Boston Celtics.
Last year, when Kobe and the squad beat the Orlando Magic to take the NBA Championship, unruly fans went wild and 25 were arrested. That particular victory came after a Game 5 win — in Orlando. This time the Lakers are on their home court and playing the final game of the series, win or lose.
So, fearing the potential of a unwieldy celebration after Laker championship #16, police chief Charlie Beck will dispatch hundreds of police officers around the Staples Center and other parts of the city as a deterrent to the possibility of the looting and vandalism that occurred last year.
“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 Villagairosa said Wednesday.
If fans do get out of control, it would be the third time in 10 years Los Angeles has seen post-championship unrest. In 2000, after the Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers — their first championship in 12 years — riots damaged 70 vehicles, including police cars and nearby property.