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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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USC Coach Turns Down Lakers' Offer



June 13, 1969, Dumb Artist

"Who Wants a Dumb Artist Around Who Can't Even Keep Out of Trouble?"



June 13, 1969, Sports The Lakers offered their coaching job to a very successful college coach who wouldn't even have to relocate.

No, not John Wooden.

USC Coach Bob Boyd turned down the job after meeting with owner Jack Kent Cooke and general manager Fred Schaus. "We expect to have an improved team next winter and should be representative in the Pacific-8 Conference," Boyd told The Times' Mal Florence.

Boyd might have been overshadowed by Wooden but he was an outstanding basketball coach. USC was 216-131 during his tenure from 1967-79. Who knows how well the Trojans would have fared in the NCAA tournament if more than one team per conference had been able to advance, as is the case today.

So the Lakers' search went on. Boyd apparently preferred facing the Bruins rather than the Celtics.

--Keith Thursby

 
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Comments (1)

"Boyd might have been overshadowed by Wooden but he was an outstanding basketball coach. USC was 216-131 during his tenure from 1967-79. Who knows how well the Trojans would have fared in the NCAA tournament if more than one team per conference had been able to advance, as is the case today."

Bob Boyd is still alive although he has retired from coaching as far as I know. Too bad things went the way they did for him at USC. I thought he was a great basketball coach with some great teams at USC in the early 1970's.

The 1970-1971 USC basketball team was probably the best team in the NCAA that year. Better than UCLA (the weakest of the UCLA NCAA Championship teams, IMO, which played with 4 "real" starters and no bench), Al McGuire's great 1971 Marquette team, or Jerry Tarkanian's Long Beach State team that NEARLY beat UCLA in the NCAA tourney that year. But USC lost to UCLA twice in Pac-8 play. The only two games USC lost that season. End of season and end of story. No wildcat seedings or second place teams went to the NCAA. Only 24 teams played in the NCAA in 1971.

The NIT was a big tournament then. At one time it was more prestigious than the NCAA. For some reason USC didn't go.

Payback for USC football.

Bob Boyd introduced the "motion offense" in college basketball at USC. It's credited to Bobby Knight now. Knight stole the offense from Boyd.

One thing that will never change: Bob Boyd's 1969 and 1970 USC basketball teams were the only teams that ever beat John Wooden's UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.

Freshman scrimmages and all-star games don't count.


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