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Airliner Vanishes En Route to L.A., Coin Flip for Alcindor, February 19, 1969

February 19, 2009 |  8:00 am
1969_0219_cover

The Mineral County Airlines DC-3 was found in August on the northeast
face of Mt. Whitney.

1969_0219_sportsLew Alcindor and the New York Nets --what might have been.

Back when two basketball leagues were battling over the best players, the Nets won a coin flip with Houston for the chance to draft Alcindor, the UCLA star. The other teams in the ABA would help the Nets sign him.

"We don't know what he is asking. We agreed this man is valuable. So the league will put up a fund to make sure he gets his money," said ABA Commissioner George Mikan.

The Times ran an Associated Press story that made it sound downright possible Alcindor would turn aside potential NBA destinations Milwaukee and Phoenix: "Alcindor, however, reportedly wants to play in his native New York if he decides to play in either league."

-- Keith Thursby

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