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Lakers Might Do Well by Also Not Repeating Mistakes of 1985-86

May 31, 1986

If the essence of good newspaper work is asking the right questions, I wonder why the deafening silence this season on why the Lakers passed on Bill Walton? Both the Lakers and Boston are essentially the same teams as last year if you leave out Walton, which Jerry West, Pat Riley and the Inglewood "brain trust" chose to do.

Did Bill want to play for the Lakers? Were they his first choice? Apparently so. Was Bill healthy enough to survive the NBA's brutal inside game? Obviously. Did Robert Parish, the Celtics' statue with a jump shot, need help after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reduced him to ashes last year? Obviously. Have the Lakers themselves needed inside help for years? Obviously. Was the Lakers' stance, regarding Walton, a classic case of a conservative, unimaginative organization standing disastrously pat? Kind of looks that way.

All these questions and more must have occurred to the average Laker fan on the block. Why not set a little well-deserved fire to those fashionable coat tails over at the Fabulous Forum? It might make a nice change of pace from your usual fawning attitude.

CHARLES CHICCOA

Los Angeles

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