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Unorthodox Deal With UCLA to Bring Hazzard to Lakers Is Vetoed by Buss

Former UCLA basketball coach Walt Hazzard, who thought he might be hired by the Lakers, won’t be working for the National Basketball Assn. champions because a position was not created for him.

Hazzard met with Laker General Manager Jerry West to discuss a job with the Lakers. West then met with owner Jerry Buss, who decided not to add to the staff. “Frankly, I thought that from our purposes, if we could do something to improve ourselves, we should do it, because that’s what we are all about,” West said. “Jerry (Buss) agreed, but I asked him if we wanted to create a new job so we could bring Walt in. He said that at this point, he didn’t want to do that.”

Hazzard was fired March 30 after coaching at UCLA for 4 years, but with 2 years remaining on his contract. In an unusual arrangement suggested by UCLA Athletic Director Peter Dalis, Hazzard was to continue being paid by the university while he worked for the Lakers. At the same time, Hazzard was to attend an executive management program at UCLA to advance his business skills.

All that was left was for the Lakers to take Hazzard.

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