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Villaraigosa offers bet on Lakers-Suns games

May 17, 2010 | 10:39 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, touching on immigration enforcement in Arizona, offered a wager Monday to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon over the outcome of the NBA battle between the Lakers and the Suns.

Should the Suns win the NBA Western Conference Finals,  Los Angeles will "humbly accept ownership of 'America's Toughest Sheriff' Joe Arpaio," Villaraigosa said in a letter to Gordon.

Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, has been praised and criticized for his tough stance against illegal immigrants.

"Perhaps a stint in Los Angeles would teach him that you cannot deduce immigration status simply by looking at a person," Villaraigosa wrote.

Should the Lakers win, Los Angeles would give Phoenix California Republican gubernatorial candidates Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman, both of whom are "currently battling for supremacy on the issue of illegal immigration," Villaraigosa said.

"Perhaps some time in Arizona," Villaraigosa said, "would show them both that being governor isn't always all it's cracked up to be."

--Robert J. Lopez