Lakers agree to pick up tab for city parade, if they win

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ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Fans cheers as The Los Angeles Lakers ride down the street on double decker buses during their 2009 NBA championship victory parade, in downtown Los Angeles, California on June 17, 2009. The Lakers say they are going to pay for the parade if they win this year.

If the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics and win the NBA championship, the team has offered to pick up the tab for a city parade, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The offer should spare the city from the political controversy that erupted last year over the use of public funds to pay for a parade after the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic for the team's 15th NBA championship.

Eventually, private donors stepped in and covered half of the city's $1.8 million in costs for police protection and other services, The Times reported.

Some City Council members and city union representatives already were voicing opposition to a possible city-funded celebration this year if the Lakers win, citing Los Angeles' ailing fiscal health, the newspaper reported.

``We have offered a sum which we think should more than cover the expected costs; however, we have not had any final plans approved, as we do want to get too far ahead of ourselves at this point,'' Lakers spokesman John Black told The Times.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday that if the Lakers beat the Celtics, the city should have a parade to celebrate, but he largely avoided the question of whether he thinks the cash-strapped city should pay for it.

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