After all, that’s Sasha Vujacic’s job.  LA Wave’s Betty Pleasant claims last week’s victory parade for the newly crowned NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers was marred by something even more distasteful than Pau Gasol’s dancing.

The City Council members were told to arrive at the parade staging area at 10 a.m. last Wednesday so they could get on the bus and ride in the parade. They boarded the bus at 10:30 a.m. and were still waiting to roll at 11 a.m. The council members, as well as the general public, became antsy and demanded to know what was the hold up and why was it taking so long to get the parade under way. (Some of the more fair-skinned council members were particularly annoyed, sitting in the sun, as they were.)

The cause of the hold-up was occurring adjacent to the locker room, where Kobe was refusing to ride on the City Council bus because the mayor was to ride on it. At the same time, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (above) , the consummate spotlight thief, was refusing to get on the City Council bus unless he got on with Kobe. Kobe loudly denounced the mayor in phrases that started with œI don™t like the ¦ and ended with œI™m not going to let him pimp my popularity!

People in the Coliseum who knew nothing about the outside bus dust-up  had their own tale to tell: They say the mayor introduced the members of the team and after he introduced Kobe, he extended his hand for the customary shake and Kobe strode right past him ignoring the outstretched hand. One elected official said the snub was clearly visible to everybody. œI didn™t understand it when I saw it, but after hearing about what happened with the bus, I understand it now, the official said. So, is it sports or is it politics? In this city, it™s obviously one and the same.