Gate crash of all-time -- Jimmy Goldstein becomes immortal
BEIJING -- For years Jimmy Goldstein, the Los Angeles superfan with the wild wardrobe -- he's especially fond of snakeskin, so if you’ve ever seen him, you'd remember him -- has been courtside at every big NBA game, whether the Lakers or Clippers were involved or not, not to mention sitting in on the postgame news conferences -- without credentials.
However, he just pulled his masterpiece.
Jimmy turned up at Tuesday’s Spain-China game -- having just flown in (it’s 12 hours if he had a non-stop) and come directly from the airport, he said.
Unfortunately, they don’t have courtside seats here, no matter how much you offer, so unless he knows President Hu Jintao, he’s out of luck on that one.
Nor was there any way Jimmy was going to get into the news conference without a credential at this event.
If you haven’t heard, they’re a little security-conscious here. A friend of mine just went to an event with some chewing gum, four pens and a bottle of Advil in his bag. Security people threw the gum away, had him write with all four pens and made him take one of the Advil.
Media credentials are applied for and approved months ahead of time, with passport numbers attached. I can’t remember if I was fingerprinted and required to furnish a DNA sample because it was so long ago.
So Jimmy is up in the stands, yelling down that he can’t get into the news conference.
“You know,” I yelled back, “you can get locked up for that stuff around here!”
Meanwhile, NBA officials, who are here with the U.S. team, were celebrating, having never been able to keep Jimmy out of a single event in their entire careers.
Five minutes later, Fran Blinebury of the Houston Chronicle told me, there was Jimmy in the news conference.
We’re not worthy.
-- Mark Heisler
Photo: OK, so Jimmy Goldstein isn't in his usual snakeskin outfit, but he showed up at Game 5 of the Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals in this attire. Credit: Garrett Elwood/NBA Photos via Bloomberg News