Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Luke Walton Thrown Out of UCLA Game

There were plenty of famous faces on the sidelines for Saturday's USC - UCLA game, so it's not surprising that the story of what happened to Los Angeles Laker Luke Walton has yet to be reported.

Unlike the other notables in attendance, the son of UCLA legend Bill Walton did not have a pass to be on the sidelines, yet somehow he managed to watch much of the first half from the field.

Walton might have got away with it, too, if not for a group of USC students led by senior Margaret Ballesteros, who recognized the curly-haired forward from her days growing up in Tuscon, Arizona.

"We had first row tickets at the end zone," said Ballesteros, "and we were calling him but he kept ignoring us. Finally he waved and I guess a security guard noticed him and saw that he didn't have a pass."

The security guard approached Walton and asked to see his field pass. Walton, of course, didn't have one.

"He and the security guard were talking for about five minutes," said Ballesteros, "and Luke kept looking at his phone. I guess he was going to call someone to clear it up."

At that point, Ballesteros and her friends tried to do their part to help Walton's cause.

"We started chanting 'Let Luke stay!' and 'Come on, he's a Laker!'" she said, but it didn't do any good.

"Security called the cops, and the cops escorted him out up the stairs [of the peristyle end of the Coliseum.]"

Ballesteros said people were yelling "Go Clippers!" as Walton left the stadium.

"The police had him by both arms," she reported, "a bit dramatic for not having a pass."

UPDATE: Ross Siler of the LA Daily News emails to tell us that the man in the black sweater talking with security is Alex McKechnie, the Lakers' athletic performance coordinator, who also worked with Matt Leinart this summer after his surgery.

MORE: This story was featured on Wednesday's ESPN Hollywood (ESPN2 at 6 EST, 3 PST)

TRACKBACK: Deadspin, LA Observed, SLAM Online


At 9:56 PM, Blogger Hoover said...

Great coverage Alexis and Nathan !! I was on the sidelines and watched the entire episode..It went on for 10 minutes of..."What do you mean I can't be down here ?? I am just as big a celebrity as everyone else" Close to handcuffs at the end !

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Benny said...

Great photos! That is a funny story. Guess just cause you're a NBA player in LA doesn't get you on the sidelines. Guess it's a blow to his ego.

The Sports Pulse

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Rafael said...

Three questions:
1. Who let him on the field?
2. Why didn't someone on the field stick up for him?
And most important:
3. Who was he rooting for?


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