Home Sports NBA legend Jerry West dies at age 86

NBA legend Jerry West dies at age 86

0 comment
Jerry West is introduced during the NBA 75th Anniversary Team ceremony at the 2022 All-Star Game. West was also a member of the league's 35th and 50th Anniversary teams. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Jerry West is introduced during the NBA 75th Anniversary Team ceremony at the 2022 All-Star Game. West was also a member of the league’s 35th and 50th Anniversary teams. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Jerry West, inspiration for the NBA logo, passed away peacefully at home at the age of 86.

One of basketball’s most notable contributors, West was a staple of the sport for eight decades, winning nine championships as a player, scout, coach, executive and consultant. He was the architect of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 10 titles in the 1980s and 2000s and an advisor to the dynastic Golden State Warriors.

Long before West established himself as arguably the greatest general manager in NBA history, he was among the league’s first superstars. West, a West Virginia high school and college basketball legend and co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, made the All-Star Game every season of a 14-year career decorated with 12 selections. All-NBA and five All-Defensive. appearances, all for the Lakers.

He won just one title in nine trips to the NBA Finals, heartbreakingly losing six title series to Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics, and West’s 1969 Finals MVP award remains the only time he has been awarded the honor a member of the losing team. He averaged 37.9 points per game in a seven-game loss to the Celtics.

“He took a loss harder than any player I’ve ever known,” said the late legendary Lakers announcer Chick Hearn. once said of the West. “She sat alone and stared into space. A defeat simply tore his guts.”

A pioneering scoring guard and relentless competitor, West was a lethal shooter before the advent of the 3-point line, and his most famous shot came in the form of a a 60 foot doorbell that sent Game 3 of the 1970 Finals to overtime against the New York Knicks. He joined Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson as the league’s first 25,000-point scorers. West averaged 27 points, 6.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in his career.

The late Hot Rod Hundley once described his West Virginia teammate and Lakers teammate as “the greatest competitor I’ve ever seen. No matter what you’re playing, he wants to win. His nickname was ‘Mr. Clutch,’ and he carried that nickname well” . because every time we were in that situation, boom, he made that shot.”

West’s pursuit of perfection led him to unprecedented success as a decision-maker in NBA front offices, twice earning Executive of the Year honors. First as a scout and then as general manager, he helped build the five-time “Showtime” champion Lakers of the 1980s. Before leaving the Lakers in 2000, West signed Shaquille O’Neal and negotiated Kobe’s draft rights. Bryant, laying the groundwork for five more titles between 2000 and 2010.

West spent five seasons managing the Memphis Grizzlies before retiring as a full-time shooter at the age of 69 in 2007. He famously joined the Golden State Warriors as a member of the executive board in 2011. oppose a possible trade deal in 2014 by Klay Thompson for Kevin Love and recruitment Kevin Durant in the 2016 offseason. West left the Warriors after the second of their four championships in 2017 and joined the LA Clippers in the same capacity, helping to draft Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George in July 2019.

West was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019.

West’s personal life was not as charming as his basketball career. The son of a West Virginia coal mine electrician, he endured a troubled childhood haunted by the death in 1951 of his older brother in the Korean War. West served as a mental health advocate in his later years, sharing his lifelong battle with depression in a 2011 New York Times best-selling memoir, titled “West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life.” .

“The greatest honor a man can have is the respect and friendship of his peers. You have them more than any man I know,” Russell told The Forum crowd on “Jerry West Night” in 1972. “Jerry “You are, in every sense of the word, a true champion. If I could grant myself one wish, it would be for you to always be happy.”

One of West’s five children, Jerry, is currently a professional scout for the Detroit Pistons.

You may also like