has a great retrospective
on the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The Portland Trail Blazers make a cameo appearance in the piece as they were the opponent of the Los Angeles Lakers during a playoff game when chaos broke out.
As he drove to the Forum that Wednesday afternoon, [Byron] Scott heard about the acquittals of the four LAPD officers accused of beating Rodney King. The verdicts came down at 3:15 p.m., about four hours before the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers were set to tip off Game 3 of their first-round playoff series, which Portland led 2-0.
Fewer than four miles away, Reginald Denny, who had loaded his red 18-wheeler with 27 tons of sand, was driving to a plant nearby the Forum in Inglewood. After entering the intersection of Florence and Normandie around 6:46 p.m., he was stopped by rioters, pulled out of his truck and brutally beaten. The jarring video of Denny's beating, which was shown live on national television and became almost as infamous as the home video of King's beating, wasn't seen by many at the Forum, as most of the televisions had already been switched to the arena feed of shootaround.
"It was frankly one of the most awkward moments of my life," [Lakers GM Jerry] West said. "It was scary. It really was pretty scary. It was not only a scary time for everyone there, but I don't think unless you had been there you can fully comprehend the importance and severity of it all. It wasn't a pleasant time for the people in the city of Los Angeles. That night we were concerned about the safety of our fans and players because everyone was so angry."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter