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Lakers celebration needs to be about city pride, not police protection, Sandy Banks says. What do you think?

June 19, 2010 | 10:12 am


Times columnist Sandy Banks was in downtown L.A. Thursday night when the Lakers beat the Celtics. She believes the antics of a bunch of losers shouldn't obscure the patience, goodwill and high spirits of the thousands of fans who ventured downtown for a communal party and wound up being treated like pariahs.

ShoutThey were shooed away from Staples Center, locked out of L.A. Live, swept off sidewalks and herded onto street corners, where their only way to gauge the Lakers' progress was through the body language of the folks they glimpsed through the windows of restaurants that they'd arrived too late to patronize.

I spent the game wandering near the arena with them — young married couples, packs of boisterous guys, families with kids wrapped in Lakers gear; multiethnic, economically diverse throngs whose street-corner celebrations were all whoops and high-fives and hugs.

In her column, Sandy Banks laments how the mood in downtown Thursday night became all about protection and not about celebration. She praises the police who largely kept order. But in her video above, she calls on the city to figure out a better way for the L.A. to savior the Lakers' victory.

Tell us what you think by commenting below.

Photo: Fans celebrate at L.A. Live after the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. Thousands came downtown only to be locked out of the plaza. Credit: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times