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LAKER UPDATE : New Arena Would Be on or Near Present Site, Buss Says

October 16, 1994|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

HONOLULU — Laker owner Jerry Buss said he has talked to several groups regarding a new arena, but reiterated that whomever he is involved with on the project, chances are the building would be on the current site in Inglewood or somewhere very close by.

"It's far and away the most likely situation," he said.

It's also not terribly pressing. Buss said he is looking at somewhere around the end of the decade to begin construction.

Among Buss' other comments as he met here with reporters:

--He remains interested in buying the Angels and has talked with a third party, but not Gene or Jackie Autry, and that he doesn't expect any negotiations to take place until the "current chaos" is settled in baseball.

--He believes that the Lakers are capable of winning 47 games, which would be an improvement of 14 victories.

*

A year ago, he was cutting classes about every other day at the University of Hawaii to watch practices on campus in steamy Klum Gym, standing in the corner so that Rainbow Coach Riley Wallace would not see him and tell him to go school. Trevor Ruffin is back again, except everyone can see him now.

He is on the court with the Lakers.

"I never thought," he said. "Not in a million years. I always had confidence I might be able to play at the next level, but just to be right here, back in Klum, and the same atmosphere that I was trying to sneak into. This is unreal."

Ruffin has a good chance to make the team as an undrafted rookie, even if playing time would be limited behind Nick Van Exel and Sedale Threatt at point guard.

*

Cedric Ceballos came off the bench to score 24 points and pull down six rebounds and lead the Lakers to a 110-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings in the exhibition opener for both teams Friday night.

Bobby Hurley, playing his first game since being seriously injured last December, had 21 points for the Kings, and Mitch Richmond added 18.

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