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Lakers-Suns "Mayor's bet" involves immigration debate

May 18, 2010, 4:36 PM EDT

The “Mayor’s bet” is a time-honored tradition in sports. When two teams meet in a big playoff series, it’s common for the mayors of the cities the teams play in to make a friendly wager. Sometimes a cities bet a few truckloads of food. Sometimes they have to temporarily change the name of something. You know, fun stuff.

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has written a letter to Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon offering him a wager on the Lakers-Suns playoff series, but it’s not the kind of wager we usually see in a “mayor’s bet.” According to the Associated Press, the terms of Villaraigosa’s bet state that Los Angeles will accept ownership of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Ariapo if the Suns win. Villaraigosa’s letter says that a stint in Los Angeles would “teach Ariapo that a person’s immigration status can’t be judged by appearance.” If the Lakers lose, Villaraigosa says that Arizona can have Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman, both of whom are running for governor and have hard-line stances on immigration.
This is just the latest example of politics in the Lakers-Suns series. First, the Suns protested Arizona’s new immigration statute by wearing their “Los Suns” jerseys during a game against the Spurs. Phil Jackson fanned the flames of the debate by seemingly supporting the bill during a pre-game press conference. Those comments sparked a protest, which took place before Monday’s game one. 
  1. Anonymous - May 18, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    >there’s no denying that the debate over SB 1070 is now officially a subplot of the Western Conference Finals. — Yes, there is denying because NO, it is not.

  2. Adam - May 18, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    This guy need to shut the F up!

  3. Bizzle - May 18, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    I’ve had enough of Villaretardo and his utter failure as LA Mayor. Time for some new blood. Janice Hahn anyone? Labonge maybe?

  4. Cliff Hanger - May 21, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    As a Phoenix resident,I propose that whichever team wins the series, LA has to take Gordon

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