You’ll Be Missed, John Radcliffe

Kurt —  September 28, 2009

One of the good guys, the Los Angles Lakers official scorekeeper since the days of Wilt and West — John Radcliffe — passed away last week.

He was a fixture at Laker games, keeping score for the team since it played at the Sports Arena (before the Forum, let alone Staples), the longest continuous employee of the franchise. And a man who was friends with everyone he met and popular in the organization.

My deepest respect and condolences to all the members of the Radcliffe Family. I shared a special place next to John at the Lakers scorers table for the past 26 years. He was a consummate professional…a gentleman…and I will miss my friend.
—Lawrence Tanter

But for thousands of students in Torrance High School, he was much more than that. He was the school’s baseball coach, as well as at times coaching track, football, volleyball and softball, plus serving as the school’s athletic director.

One of the students who was touched by Radcliffe was our own Gatinho.

As a graduate of Torrance High School, I was lucky to have Coach John Radcliffe as my athletic director. But you can imagine how cool we thought it was that he was the official scorer for the Lakers. He would frequently hand out Laker tickets to track athletes who broke personal bests or other athletes that played exceptionally well or showed outstanding sportsmanship. Every time I watched a game and there was a discussion at the scorer’s table, I would make sure to spot him.

Track and field seemed to be his love. He was constantly asking the best athletes to participate in track. To quote a friend, “He knew an athlete, and when he saw one, he asked them to run track.”

RIP John Radcliffe
BORN: May 28, 1936
DIED: September 22, 2009

He shall be missed, by the Lakers and students in Torrance alike.

to You’ll Be Missed, John Radcliffe

  1. R.I.P.

    Imagine having been so close to the action through all these eras of professional basketball – amazing.

    Also, passing along a short right-up of bowling with Artest:


  2. Good write up, Kurt. Glad to see recognition for a behind the scenes guy who’s been such an important part of the team for so long.

    On a completely different note:

    John Hollinger has the Lakers winning the west by an unbelievable 10 games (he has Portland coming in second in the conference)


  3. Beautifully written Kurt. He will be sorely missed.


  4. 4,
    Yeah… I read it. ollinger thinks the Lakers PG’s are worse than I do. Well… maybe not

    “Biggest Weakness: Point Guard
    The Lakers are rock solid at four of the five positions, but point guard remains a major question mark. While Fisher righted his ship enough to hit some big shots in the conference finals and NBA Finals, he was brutal for the first half of the playoffs and wouldn’t start for most of the league’s teams. L.A. was fortunate to avoid quick point guards in the final two rounds last season, but playing in a conference with the likes of Chris Paul and Tony Parker means they may not be spared such a fate in this go-round.

    Brown was the best of the Lakers’ three point guards in the postseason, but he’s also the least accomplished, careerwise, and is more of a 2 than a 1. He’s a nice stopgap to have off the bench, but he’s nobody’s idea of a long-term starter at the spot.”


  5. Good post on another Laker personality that has made a difference in LA for many lives.



  6. new post up for Media Day


  7. whoah, he has the same birthday as I do (and Jerry West too). Rest in peace, John. Thank you for your service.


  8. Dad was so much fun! I will miss him everyday!


  9. Hello Kris
    I am saddened by the loss of your father, he was a truly great person, yes he will be missed by many many people and yes, he certainly touched many lives.
    He is fortunate to have a son in you, who will certainly live up to all of the standards John set.
    God Bless and let me know if there is anything at all that we can do.
    Warm regards,
    George Schmutz


  10. Suzanne Radcliffe-Hannemann October 1, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I miss you every second of every day.