Jim Pollard, Ex-Lakers Star, Dies -- Played For Five-Time NBA Champs
Times News Services
Jim Pollard, a member of Stanford's 1942 NCAA championship team and one of the original Minneapolis Lakers, has died at the age of 70.
Pollard, known as the Kangaroo Kid because of the tremendous spring in his legs, died in Stockton, Calif., on Friday of natural causes, according to a funeral home in Lodi, where he had lived.
A veteran of eight seasons with the Lakers, Pollard was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 1977.
Pollard, 6 feet 5, who signed with the Lakers in 1948, was one of the few players of that era who could dunk a basketball. He averaged in double figures in scoring in each of his Lakers seasons and finished his pro career with a 13.1 scoring average.
Pollard's studies at Stanford were cut short by World War II, during which he served in the Coast Guard. But he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1954.
Pollard coached LaSalle College in Philadelphia from 1955 to 1958. He coached the Lakers briefly in the 1959-60 season, taking over for John Castellani and posting a 14-25 record in the regular season.
Pollard, the Lakers' first captain, was "the only player to be a member of all five Laker championship teams," wrote Stew Thornley in his book "Basketball's Original Dynasty," a history of the Lakers.
"George Mikan had been named Basketball Player of the Half Century by The Associated Press, but two years later another poll was taken among players who had been in the league since its inception," Thornley wrote. "Their pick as the greatest player ever? Jim Pollard."
A memorial service is scheduled Feb. 6 in Lodi.
CLIPPERS LOOK FOR BEST DEAL -- What better match, what better combination of coach and player, could there have been than Larry Brown and Danny Manning?
The wandering coach, looking for a reason to send down roots once again. The player, with so much talent locked inside, waiting for someone with a key.
Brown and Manning were champions together at the University of Kansas. And while another title wasn't imminent for the Los Angeles Clippers, the team's strong finish under Brown last season brought back some pleasant memories. The Clippers had last made the playoffs when bell-bottoms were in vogue and Manning was 10 years old.
Well, hope you took note of the Clips' new era of prosperity. It might be over already.
A total of seven Clippers will be either restricted or unrestricted free agents after this season, and Manning is among them.
One would think that Manning would be the sure thing for Los Angeles, the one guy willing to stay with the program under Brown.
One would be wrong, however.
Manning and Brown have sniped at each other this season, while the team has hung around the .500 mark. And last week, the Clippers gave agent Ron Grinker permission to talk trade with other teams. If the Clips can unload Manning before he becomes a restricted free agent, they will do so.
"They have granted other teams permission to talk to me," said Grinker. "That means to me that they are actively pursuing something. That's fine."
General Manager Elgin Baylor said: "We are looking at options. We want to see what's out there."
What's out there is big trouble unless the Clippers can keep their free agents from either skipping town or overloading the salary cap.
"If you were to trade with the Clippers for Danny Manning," said Sixers General Manager Jim Lynam, "you've got to have a new contract in place with Manning beforehand, or you ARE the Clippers."
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