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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO

By Honoring West, Old State Shows It Has Street Smarts

March 16, 2000|RANDY HARVEY

Jerry West is finally on the map. . . .

Morgantown, W. Va., is naming a street for the Laker vice president and former star player. . . .

West is not from Morgantown. But he lived there while attending the University of West Virginia. . . .

Despite the "Zeke from Cabin Creek" nickname that he had before he was known as "Mr. Clutch," West is from Chelyan, W. Va. I don't think they have a boulevard named for him there. I don't think they have a boulevard there.

Morgantown also has a Don Knotts Boulevard, named for the actor who co-starred on "The Andy Griffith Show." Unlike Barney Fife, West never fired a shot into his foot. . . .

If the Lakers survive their next four games at Washington, Detroit, New York and Miami to finish this trip with 23 consecutive victories, then I'm a believer. . . .

I'll believe that they can break the NBA and team record of 33. . . .

The highest hurdles would be a March 26 game at Sacramento, which would be No. 26, an April 4 game at Phoenix, which would be No. 30, and an April 8 game at home against San Antonio, which would be No. 32. . . .

They would try to tie the record at home April 10 against Seattle and break it at home April 14 against Sacramento on TNT. . . .

Maybe Phil Jackson would wear a microphone for that one.

*

After a marathon of bidding, negotiating, crossing Ts and dotting I's, Los Angeles has a triathlon. . . .

Promoters Jack Caress and Mike Bone of Pacific Sports in Orange County had the inspiration, recruited David Simon of the L.A. Sports Council to run interference with the city and last week had a signed contract. . . .

It took only three years. . . .

"It was a relatively glacial process," Caress said. "Now we understand why the city doesn't have an NFL team."

The first L.A. Triathlon will be run, swam and cycled Sept. 10 over a proposed course that includes Venice Beach, Hollywood, Exposition Park, Dodger Stadium and downtown Los Angeles. . . .

Potential organizers of a new indoor track and field meet in Los Angeles will meet today. The meeting will be chaired by Skip Stolley, who has been asked by USA Track & Field to serve as meet director. . . .

Although talks have just begun, Staples Center could be the site. . . .

Al Franken, who has promoted the L.A. Invitational for 40 years, wasn't invited to the meeting but said that he and son Don might crash it. . . .

"It's sort of shabby," he said. "After 40 years, you'd think they'd at least let me know about the meeting. But we're going to go even if they don't want us. I'd like to find out what they're trying to do to us. . . .

"Skip Stolley served as our clerk of course for a number of years and did a fine job, but he doesn't have any experience running a world-class track meet." . . .

Franken said he still plans to hold his meet next February at the Sports Arena and said Wednesday that Home Depot has agreed to refurbish the track. . . .

"I'd like nothing more than to see two indoor meets in Los Angeles," Stolley said. "We all appreciate Al's contributions, but we need to create a new event with a different vision."

*

JaRon Rush is a major talent, but maybe Steve Lavin should continue letting him come in from the bench. UCLA is 14-1 with Sean Farnham as a starter. . . .

The L.A. Chamber of Commerce and Sports Council are honoring the Galaxy at a luncheon today at the Regal Biltmore Hotel. . . .

Phil Anschutz's Galaxy opens the season Saturday at the Rose Bowl (against Phil Anschutz's Colorado Rapids) with diminished expectations. . . .

The Galaxy was unable to replace Mexican striker Carlos Hermosillo either as a player or a gate attraction. . . .

The MLS seems to be rushing toward the same dead-end as its predecessor, the NASL, did by recruiting name players from Europe after their primes. . . .

Chicago on Wednesday signed Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov, 34, who has already come out of retirement once to play in Japan. New York-New Jersey has 39-year-old German Lothar Matthaeus. . . .

Didn't he play with Franz Beckenbauer?

*

While wondering why anyone is surprised that John Rocker received a standing ovation on "White Sheet Night" in Kissimmee, I was thinking: Ball State is no Detroit Mercy, all NHL players should wear visors, the more I see and hear NFL players off the field the more I want to thank Al Davis and Georgia Frontiere.

*

Randy Harvey can be reached at his e-mail address: randy.harvey@latimes.com.

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