The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Black students riot at high school, Laker peace conference, December 13, 1968

Actress Tallulah Bankhead dies at the age of 65 ... or 67.

1968_1213_sports Nothing new about a coach clashing with his star player. Nothing new for such controversies to involve the Lakers.

But this wasn't Phil against Shaq or Kobe. It was an old-school battle: Butch vs. Wilt.

Things were bad enough that Fred Schaus, the Lakers' general manager and their former coach, made headlines by calling a team meeting that The Times billed as a "peace conference."

Schaus said there were more issues than Wilt Chamberlain's complaints to and about Coach Butch Van Breda Kolff. Right.

Star and coach made dueling appearances in John Hall's column, with the coach complaining, then the star defending himself.

Van Breda Kolff: "I've reached a point where I don't give a blank. All I plan to do is keep coaching the way I coach. That's all I can do. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen."

Chamberlain: "I've never professed to win any popularity contests but I'm not going to say the same thing as the coach. I'm not going to say I don't care. I do."

Chamberlain apparently was unhappy about being benched (the coach called it rest, just like fellow superstars Jerry West and Elgin Baylor received) and having to play outside the low post.

--Keith Thursby

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As a Fremont alum (1954-1956) the article from 1968 brought back memories. My grandparents - both sets - lived between Central and San Pedro on 76th and 78th streets, and all of the family attended Fremont HS in the 1930's and 1940's. It held (and holds) as special place in my memory bank (as I am sure it does for fellow classmate Henry Waxman who lived kitty corner from the school). They were some turbulent, but 'not to be missed' growing up times for us. Life became a little more intense after 1968.


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