It was the 1985 season and the Utah Jazz were losing badly to the Lakers at the Forum. It was midway through the fourth quarter and Jazz Coach Frank Layden’s mind began to wander. He began thinking about the chili, and the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches served at the team’s hotel across from the Forum.
“I looked around and saw people walking out of the Forum, as usual, and asked myself, ‘What the heck am I staying for?’ ” Layden is quoted as saying in a new Pocket Book, “The Basketball Hall of Shame.”
Layden told his assistant to take over and walked off, passing the Laker bench on his way out.
“Where you going?” Coach Pat Riley asked.
Said Layden: “Everybody else is leaving, so why should I stick around and suffer through this? I’m going across the street for some chili and a BLT.”
Add Layden: When he sat down at the counter in the hotel coffee shop, the guy sitting next to him, according to Layden, said: “You know, you look just like Frank Layden, the Utah coach. He’s staying here at the hotel. Stick around. He’ll probably be in here after the game.”
Quick exit: Another story from “The Basketball Hall of Shame” is about John Carty, who was a rugged 6-foot-9 freshman at California in 1988.
Carty had played aggressively in practice, so Coach Lou Campanelli decided to start him against Arizona, which was ranked No. 1.
Three minutes into the game, Carty had three personal fouls, so Campanelli benched him. Carty was back in at the start of the second half, but two minutes later, he had fouled out.
Five fouls in five minutes.
Said Carty: “I felt awful about fouling out so fast. But it was more embarrassing when I saw the newspaper the next day. The headline read: ‘John Carty: If You Went to the Bathroom, You Probably Missed Him.’ ”
Trivia time: What is the most lopsided game in NBA history? Hint: It involved the Laker team that won 33 games in a row.
Trivia II: Bill Sharman was the Lakers’ coach when they won an NBA championship in 1972. Who was the general manager?
Beat these odds: Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) has proposed outlawing all legal sports gambling. Art Manteris, the head of the race and sports book operations at the Las Vegas Hilton, has established the odds at 100-1 against Bradley succeeding.
Move over Manute: In two years, there may be an NBA player taller than 7-foot-7 Manute Bol of Philadelphia.
He is Big Gheorghe Muresan, who is 7-7 1/2 and 303 pounds. He plays for the Romanian national team and scored 26 points in a recent European championship qualifying game against Sweden.
“He’s probably the most attractive young player outside the United States,” said Kenny Grant, an American coach in Sweden who now works for ProServ, a U.S.-based management firm.
Muresan, 20, will become a candidate for the NBA draft when he turns 22.
And one more thing. Muresan is still growing.
Trivia answer: On March 19, 1972, the Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors, 162-99.
Trivia II answer: Fred Schaus.
Quotebook: Bill Sharman, on the Lakers’ 63-point victory over the Warriors: “The scoreboard looked like a runaway pinball machine.”