When it comes to the pecking order of LA County vanity license plates, the one adorning the 2005 Jaguar owned by Redondo Beach resident Bill Sharman is tough to beat. As were his 1971-72 Lakers, a team that reeled off a record 33 straight regular season NBA victories.
The former Lakers coach and his “33 STR8″ plate were the subject of a wonderful profile recently by FOX Sports Florida writer Chris Tomasson, who from the Sunshine State also mined the Pat Riley connection (Riley was a reserve on the 71-72 team). Basically, the Sharman license plate is a local lightning rod with the power to divide the 85-year-old’s fellow commuters into two distinct groups:
Some observers know immediately what the license plate means and make an effort to greet Sharman, a Hall of Famer as both a player and coach. Others are confused. “People have asked in parking lots what it means,’’ said Sharman. “Even at red lights, they have put down their windows and asked, ‘What does “33 STR8″ mean?’ Someone said, ‘33 years of marriage?’’’