Jerry West, following the 4-1 closeout of his Lakers by Seattle, evidently is gone as L.A. coach. West: "No comment." Guard Lou Hudson: "West has already told us he was quitting and that was months ago. When you make a statement like that, there is no going back"

Bobby Leonard, coach-general manager of the Indiana Pacers, described himself this week as "in a period of limbo." That could end soon - the Pacers are about to be sold (presumably to California real estate millionaire Jerry Buss); the club has asked the NBA governors to take up said sale at the special meeting May 7 in Chicago to consider the proposed Jazz move from New Orleans to Salt Lake City. Leonard will see what happens, decide (or have decided for him) by May 15 on his future, which could very well be - after 12 years piloting the Pacers through ABA and NBA - as coach of the Denver Nuggets . . .

An interested observer in the Indiana NBA developments could be home-stater Larry Bird, he of the impasse with the Boston Celtics. The next move is up to the Celts, says lawyer Bob Woolf, putting rap on Red Auerbach's handling of the Celt end: "He treats everyone like he used to treat a referee when he was coaching . . . He's more of a dictator than a negotiator." (It's Dictators Day, here.)

Sighed Bird in Terre Haute: "I suspected last year something would go wrong in my contract talks. That's one reason I decided to stay in college" . . .