Lakers fans pitch in for parade

That was some parade the Lakers held Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Expensive, too. Fortunately for the taxpayers, some well-heeled fans helped defray the costs of staging the party that ended up at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Lakers, along with Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owners of Staples Center, the Lakers’ home, picked up half of the $2 million tab after city officials said they didn’t have the money to pay for a parade. The rest came in the form of private donations.

According to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the citizens who stepped up included Casey Wasserman, Jerry Perenchio, Haim Saban, Joe and Sharon Hernandez and Ed Roski.

Wasserman used to own the L.A. Avengers of the Arena Football League. Roski helped develop Staples Center. Perenchio is the former chairman of Univision, which Saban owns, and the Hernandezes own a lucrative produce chain.

The rally saw 95,000 show up at the Coliseum. If Al Davis had managed to attract those kinds of crowds when the Raiders played there, perhaps he wouldn’t have returned to Oakland.

DIRT TO TURF — For the first time in more than 30 years, the Meadowlands is planning to run a harness race on grass instead of the traditional dirt.

Eight pacers will compete today in a $15,000 claiming race to be run at one mile on the track’s turf course, weather permitting. The last time the Meadowlands ran trotters on the turf was on June 21, 1978. El Nob won the race in 2:09.3.

The Meadowlands turf race is the fifth on the card, with post time scheduled for 5:27 p.m.

TWEET TIME — What do golfers do during a rain delay at the U.S. Open?

They hop on Twitter, what else?

The tweets were flying out of Bethpage Black during Thursday’s rain-delayed opening round as golfers and fans alike had plenty of time to kill. However, the fans weren’t able to tweet because they didn’t have access to their cell phones, which are banned from the course.

That meant it was up to the golfers to tweet away the day. Stewart Cink, who reportedly has 336,162 followers, sent a tweet the other day claiming he had found one of Michael Jordan‘s golf balls in the weeds near the green at No. 18.

How did Cink know it was Jordan’s? It had MJ’s logo on it, and Jordan had played the course a few days before as part of a celebrity challenge.

STILL LOYAL — Tiger Woods no longer endorses Buick automobiles, but when he left Bethpage State Park on Wednesday, it was in — you guessed it — a Buick Enclave SUV.

Woods’ five-year, $40 million deal with Buick ended with a year remaining on the contract when the economy tanked and General Motors had to cut costs.

Woods doesn’t seem to be harboring a grudge.

He did leave the course in a Lexus on Monday after his practice round, but Lexus is the official automobile of the U.S. Open.


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