<
>

Preseason game canceled as wildfires threaten San Diego

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The preseason game between the
Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz scheduled for Thursday night at San
Diego was canceled because of the devastation caused by
wind-whipped fires that forced at least 346,000 homes in San Diego
County to be evacuated.

"There is simply too much devastation in the area and too much
uncertainty about what will happen in the next few days," Tim
Harris, the Lakers' senior vice president of business operations,
said Tuesday as the teams played at Honda Center.

"After many internal discussions about many different factors,
we've concluded that this is simply the right thing to do. The
people of San Diego have been very supportive of us over the years,
and in turn, we want to be supportive of them in this time of
crisis."

The announcement was made in a release handed out on press row
just before the final horn. Before the game, Lakers coach Phil
Jackson told reporters that he didn't support going to San Diego.

"It's a city that's obviously depressed and recovering, and
people are limiting things they have to do," Jackson said.
"They're asking people to limit their outdoor activity, and
they're also talking about resources. So there are considerations
there. I understand that the mayor lately has asked people to stay
at home and hunker down underneath this thing until it passes."