West, the Lakers' can-do general manager, never travels. Not when it matters, anyway.
He is renowned for being so superstitious that he never travels to LA playoff games. He was in Chicago last June for the NBA predraft camp, but didn't bother making the trek over to the Stadium for the NBA Finals. He never went to Boston Garden during those epic LA-Boston battles in the 1980's. During the season, he doesn't even go to see the Lakers when they ride up the Harbor Freeway to play the Clippers.
So what was he doing here?
"Well, it doesn't count," he said, "so my streak is still intact. And once in awhile I do get out in the exhibition season. You have to see the players."
A more plausible excuse is the Lakers' presence in the McDonald's Open next week. Los Angeles is taking a 60-plus person entourage to Paris (wives included) and left for the City of Lights after last night's exhibition game with Boston.
West is going with them. But then again, those games don't count, either.
Dee Brown turned in another sparkling performance last night in 37 minutes. He had 28 points, 5 assists and a blocked shot. Brian (Wally Pipp?) Shaw and John Bagley were with the team, but unable to go. Kevin McHale watched the game from the stands with his family . . . Rick Fox had his second straight positive outing, scoring 15 points, including 7 of 9 from the line. He fouled out in 21 minutes. "He's a sound player," coach Chris Ford said. "I like what I see. He's a hustler and he's always around the ball. And I was happy to see that he drove to the basket more and got to the line." . . . Larry Bird went 28 minutes and felt fine afterward . . . Michael Smith started and played 24 minutes, going 2 for 6 from the field while getting 5 rebounds. "I think he has had some bright spots and some bad spots. Like everyone else," Ford said . . . Sam Perkins sat out the game with a sore ankle.
Status quo for Gamble
There was nothing new in the Kevin Gamble stalemate, CEO Dave Gavitt said . . . LA coach Mike Dunleavy saw a lot more of his wannabes last night. Magic Johnson, Byron Scott and James Worthy played a total of 57 minutes . . . The referees were in a nit-picking mood, calling 67 fouls, 37 against the Lakers.