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Friday, August 24, 2007

Former Lakers Coach Butch van Breda Kolff Dies

From Yahoo:

"Butch van Breda Kolff, who twice guided the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals, has died. He was 84. A longtime collegiate and pro coach, van Breda Kolff passed away in Spokane on Wednesday."

"'Although it was many years ago, and before my ownership of the team, Butch van Breda Kolff was an important part of the Lakers' success during our early years in Los Angeles,' Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss said. 'We're sorry to hear of his passing and would like to send our condolences to his family and friends.'"

"'Butch was a real basketball purist who believed in a team-oriented game, and I enjoyed playing for him very much,' Hall of Famer Jerry West said. 'Not only did I have two of the best seasons of my career while he was our coach, but our team enjoyed a high level of success as well, even though we unfortunately lost to the Celtics in the NBA Finals both years. I'm saddened to hear that he's passed away and send my deepest sympathies to his family.'"

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