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Laker Coach Hits Officials

Apr. 5, 1963 - “When games are allowed to get as rough as this one was, all the finesse goes out of basketball,” said Los Angeles Lakers coach Fred Schaus (left with Jerry West) after his team lost a rugged contest to the Hawks in St. Louis last night. “Selvy and West have bruises and welts on both arms. I hate to see the sport turned into a brawl. Now, I’m not claiming the Hawks are loaded with hatchet men,” Schaus continued. “They played an exceptional game and deserved to win, but no NBA playoff should have gotten so completely out of the officials’ hands. I fully expect the league to send in a new team of officials for Saturday’s game, just as they used two sets in Los Angeles.” The supervisor of NBA officials, Sid Borgia, and veteran Norm Drucker officiated the Kiel Auditorium contest. When asked if he felt Jerry West’s relatively low total of 18 points was due in some degree to the guarding by the Hawks’ Len Wilkens, Schaus responded by grasping the inquiring sportswriter's right wrist. “Can you write now?” asked Schaus, obviously implying that Wilkens had used illegal tactics. Bob Pettit, high man for the Hawks with 33 points, said he wasn't aware of an unusual amount of contact. “Honestly, I don't know if this game was rougher than most,” said Pettit. “Unless somebody hits me in the face or belts me especially hard, I'm too busy to notice.”


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