May 16, 2004 in Sports

Walton, Spears: ‘Toxic’?

From wire reports The Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman-Review photo

(Full-size photo)

Cancel the wedding plans. It appears Luke Walton and Britney Spears won’t be getting together any time soon.

When “Access Hollywood” told Walton that Spears had a crush on him, Walton said the feeling was mutual and he’d like to find a ticket to a game for Spears near the Lakers bench.

Los Angeles Times reader Mario Gamez offered to sell his two front-row seats right behind the Lakers bench for last night’s game to Walton for $5,000 apiece.

“I’m only trying to help Luke close the deal,” Gamez said.

The bad news: Spears’ publicist, Nicole King, said that the pop singer was on an international tour until August.

Just the going rate

So how outlandish is $5,000 for a front-row seat? According to Eric Baker, president of, tickets to Thursday night’s game were the hottest of the playoffs, and probably hotter than tickets would be if the Lakers made it to the NBA Finals. Baker said the resale value of courtside seats was $15,000, and about $1,500 for floor-level seats. Face value of courtside seats for this series is $2,400, and face value for the best floor-level seats is $240.

Tennis: It packs punch

The U.S. Tennis Association has proclaimed May national tennis month as a way to promote the sport.

Two unlikely spokesmen for the promotion are NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon and boxer Roy Jones Jr.

Said Jones: “Like boxing, a round of tennis burns calories, increases agility and improves foot speed . . . all with few shots to the head.”

Crazy like a fox

Ahmad Rashad, in a pregame interview on ABC Thursday night, asked Rasheed Wallace how most people perceive him. “Mean all the time,” Wallace said.

“But, hey, if that’s what keeps the crazy people away, then that’s cool with me.”

He’s a real Flutie flake

The San Diego Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson, a guest on Fox Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” was asked about Eli Manning’s not wanting to play for the Chargers.

“We didn’t want to play with him, either,” Tomlinson said.

No appointment necessary

Bob Lacey, who died recently, was a frequent contributor to Tom FitzGerald’s “Open Season” column in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Of Pac Bell (now SBC) Park, Lacey said in 2000: “I called Pacific Bell information to find out what time today’s game starts. They said they’d have the team there ‘between 12 and 5.’ ”

Of Pac Bell in 2003, Lacey said: “Where else can you consume $50-$60 worth of beer and still be under the legal limit?”

High-priced coach

Pirate outfielder Raul Mondesi returned to the Dominican Republic and will sit out the season after a Dominican civil court ruled he owed former major leaguer Mario Guerrero $640,000 for coaching him.

“What knowledge could Mario Guerrero possibly know that would be worth $640K?” asks Tim Keown of

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