Los Angeles Lakers: The Show

50 years ago today: Lakers narrowly avert disaster

January, 18, 2010
1/18/10
3:44
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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In 1960, the Lakers narrowly averted being part of a major air disaster when their DC-3 charter crashed in an Iowa cornfield. Nobody on the plane was hurt.

50 years ago today, in the early morning hours of January 18, 1960, the then-Minneapolis Lakers only barely averted a tragedy of catastrophic proportions. The Lakers were coming home from a game in St. Louis when about 10 minutes into the flight the generator in the team's DC-3 charter failed, leaving the pilots without lights, heat, navigation devices, and radio power.

Unable to return back to Lambert Field in St. Louis because of the number of planes backed up over the airport, the pilots continued, hoping to navigate their way towards Minneapolis by starlight. They lost course, and soon had serious worries about fuel.

Roland Lazenby writes about that night in his outstanding history of the team, "The Show: The Inside Story of the Spectacular Los Angeles Lakers in the Words of Those Who Lived It:

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0