Arizona Basketball

Throwback Thursday, NBA Draft Day Special: Sean Elliott as a Laker?


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A keepsake Cat Tracks poster: Sean Elliott as a Laker

A keepsake Cat Tracks poster: Sean Elliott as a Laker (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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The very first issue produced by the now-defunct Cat Tracks magazine came out before the 1989 NBA Draft. Showcased on the cover: Sean Elliott as a potential Los Angeles Laker, wearing No. 1 on his jersey.

The title reads: “Lakers need more magic”. Turns out Elliott played 11 of his 12 years in the NBA for San Antonio, the Lakers’ Western Conference rival.

The Lakers did not have a pick until late in the first round in 1989, the 26th pick overall. But Cat Tracks speculated the Lakers may trade up to get Elliott.

“We’d love to trade up, but no one will trade with us,” said then-Lakers GM Jerry West to Cat Tracks.

Sacramento picked No. 1, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers and then the Spurs.

“The Kings would be crazy to take anyone else,” West told Cat Tracks writer John Moredich. “But if they don’t take Sean, I think the Clippers will. If you are going to put Sean in a uniform, I’d dress him as a Sacramento King or a Los Angeles Clipper.”

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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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Feeling nostalgic? Check out our Throwback Thursday segments.

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The very first edition of Cat Tracks magazine had this cover of Sean Elliott wearing a Lakers uniform before the 1989 NBA Draft (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The very first edition of Cat Tracks magazine had this cover of Sean Elliott wearing a Lakers uniform before the 1989 NBA Draft (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


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The Kings took Louisville’s Pervis Ellison as the No. 1 pick. The Clippers, turning their back on a John Wooden Award winner from their own region, went with Duke’s Danny Ferry at No. 2. This of course is when the Clippers were the Clippers.

Elliott went next to the Spurs. He won an NBA title with them in 1999. He is revered in the San Antonio area, now as a Spurs broadcaster.

Moredich asked Elliott in the Cat Tracks issue about the possibility of playing for the Lakers if they traded up to obtain either the pick of the Kings or the Clippers:

“I’d feel pretty good about that, but there would be a lot of pressure on that,” he said. “A lot of people don’t understand that if you play in L.A., you’re expected to win championships, not make the playoffs.”

Sadly to fans in Los Angeles nowadays, Elliott spoke of the Lakers when they were the Lakers.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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