It is reported on this date in 1998 that Jerry West, the Lakers’ executive vice president and head of basketball operations, will resign in the late summer. Health concerns and workload pressure are cited as the reasons.
He ended up signing an extension later that year and didn’t leave the Lakers until 2000. West’s key personnel moves included trading Vlade Divac to Charlotte for Kobe Bryant and signing free agent Shaquille O’Neal. Among his draft choices were James Worthy in 1982, A.C. Green in 1985, Divac in 1989 and Nick Van Exel in 1993.
In games postponed or canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodgers were scheduled Saturday to play the Pittsburgh Pirates in a night game at Dodger Stadium. The Angels were ready to go against the Astros in Houston.
In Major League Soccer, the Galaxy had a match set in Canada against Toronto FC. Real Salt Lake would have visited LAFC at Banc of California Stadium.
And in basketball, the first round of the NBA playoffs was set to begin.
Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:
1962 — After four teammates foul out, center Bill Russell and guard Bob Cousy take control in overtime and the Boston Celtics beat the Lakers 110-107 for their fourth consecutive NBA title. Russell scores 30 points and grabs 40 rebounds.
1966 — The incomparable Russell is named player-coach of the Celtics after Red Auerbach retires. He is the NBA’s first African American coach and leads Boston to two championships in three seasons.
1988 — Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya pulls away from Juma Ikangaa of Tanzania in the final 50 yards to win the Boston Marathon by one second, the closest finish ever.
1991 — John Stockton breaks his own NBA single-season assist record as the Utah Jazz rout the Seattle SuperSonics 130-103 at the Salt Palace. Stockton’s 11 assists give him 1,136, two more than the record he set the previous season.
1999 — Wayne Gretzky’s brilliant career comes to an end in Madison Square Garden with an assist to set up a second-period goal, but his New York Rangers fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in overtime. Before the game, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces that the league will retire No. 99 in honor of “The Great One.”
2001 — A.C. Green, 37, of the Miami Heat plays in consecutive game No. 1,192, which remains the NBA record. The streak began Nov. 19, 1986, when he was a Lakers forward.
2006 — The New Jersey Devils close the regular season with their 11th consecutive victory, defeating Montreal 4-3 to take the Atlantic Division title. The Devils, who trailed division-leading Philadelphia by 19 points on Jan. 6, register the biggest comeback to claim a division title since the league divided into two conferences with the 1974-75 expansion.
2007 — Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox is nearly perfect, facing 27 batters in a 6-0 no-hit win over the Texas Rangers. Buehrle walks Sammy Sosa with one out in the fifth, then promptly picks him off. It is the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history.
2010 — Brian Davis of England calls a two-stroke penalty on himself on the first playoff hole, and his act of sportsmanship gives Jim Furyk a victory at the Verizon Heritage tournament. While attempting a shot out of a green-side hazard, Davis’ club strikes a loose impediment and the infraction forces him to concede to Furyk.
2010 — Rafael Nadal defeats Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1 in an all-Spanish final to win the Monte Carlo Masters at Monaco for the sixth year in a row. Nadal becomes the only player to win six consecutive titles in the same tournament since the sport turned professional in 1968.
Sources: The Times, Associated Press