Tom Nissalke is going to coach the Utah Jazz, that's settled, but what an unsettling development in the possibly impending marriage of Jerry Tarkanian and the Los Angeles Lakers:
California sports promoter Victor Weiss, reportedly after agreeing (as Tarkanian's representative) on terms for Nevada-Las Vegas' coach to replace Jerry West as coach of the Lakers, has been found dead in the trunk of a maroon-and-white Rolls-Royce. Cause unknown.
Weiss, 51, was last seen alive by a parking valet Wednesday as he drove his luxury car (one he was using while his own Rolls was being repaired) away from the Beverly Comstock Hotel after meeting with Jack Kent Cooke, who is selling the Lakers, etc., and Jerry Buss, who is buying same.
The car was found Sunday night in a parking structure next to the Sheraton Universal Hotel in L.A. The body was identified yesterday, by fingerprints, as Weiss'. His wallet was missing. His former partner, fight promoter Harry Kabakoff, said Weiss habitually carried large sums of cash.
Weiss' longtime friend Tarkanian, informed by telephone of what police are treating tentatively as homicide, said, "Oh, my God."
In Salt Lake City, Nissalke was trotted out as successor to Elgin Baylor as Jazz coach. Nissalke, 44, bounces from Houston, where his Rockets were 47-35 last season, to meet the 26-56 franchise on the rebound from New Orleans. Old home week for the coach who guided the American Basketball Association's Utah Stars before moving on to Texas. And one of his assistants will be Gene Littles, like Baylor an old D.C. Interhigh athlete; McKinley alum Littles leaves after two years coaching North Carolina A&T in the MEAC . . .
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board has completed an investigation into the condition of Spectacular Bid in connection with the Maryland colt's upset loss in the Belmont Stakes. Verdict, safety pin or no safety pin, Bid was in sound racing condition before and after the race that denied him the Triple Crown.
The board got in its dig at jockey Ronnie Franklin: ". . . racing strategy in the 1 1/2-mile event should not be overlooked." And was the board being punny in concluding it otherwise "could not pinpoint reasons" for Bid's defeat?
So in Detroit, pitcher John Hiller, who survived a heart attack in 1970 to become a premier reliever, says, "If I make it through this year, that's it, definitely . . . I'm tired of warming up and having people yell, 'Go have another heart attack'" . . .