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GAME 3 REPORT: NBA PLAYOFFS LAKERS LEAD SERIES 2-1

Northwest Passages

May 09, 1998

What papers in the Seattle area are saying about the series:

BART WRIGHT, BREMERTON SUN

From the moment you get off the plane and walk out of the airport, you are hit with artifice El Lay.

The weather is warm, but the air, when you think of it, is a little thick, more like buttermilk to the trimmer, crisp nonfat-milk air of the Northwest. . . .

When you drive east down Century Boulevard toward the Great Western Forum--real dump of a building, by the way--at some point you enter a municipality called Inglewood. It's still L.A.--totally L.A.--but it's Inglewood and they want to make you remember the name. Recently, civic leaders put up banners on street lights that simply read: City of Champions. . . .

Lots of pictures of Shaquille O'Neal on those City of Champions banners.

Then a voice in the back of your head speaks up.

"Wait a minute. What champions? When did the Kings win the Stanley Cup? When did Shaquille O'Neal win anything?"

OK, so they have a number of horses that win every day at [Hollywood Park], but City of Champions?

RON JUDD, SEATTLE TIMES

The smug is getting thick down here.

You could feel it--the stuff that clouds the vision of L.A. sports fans--rolling in off the Pacific around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

As the wind was sucked from the sails of the Sonics, you could see it breathe life into Laker fans, most of whom are proud, charter members of the United Assn. of Front-Runners.

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