NBA legend and basketball lifer Jerry West dies at 86

Jerry West pic
Jerry West pic

This morning, the LA Clippers announced that NBA legend Jerry West passed away at 86. He died peacefully at his home. Jerry West was a basketball lifer and was one of the greatest contributors to the sport. In the NBA, West won nine championships as a player, coach, scout, executive, and consultant. 

The 14-time all-star is well-known for his silhouette being the inspiration behind the NBA logo. West is one of the greatest General Managers of all time. He helped the 1980s and 2000s Lakers win 10 titles. Additionally, he was an advisor to the iconic Warriors’ teams from the early to late 2010s. The NBA will mourn the loss of Jerry West.

Jerry West was one of the greatest contributors to the NBA

Before his time as a GM and executive in the NBA, Jerry West was one of the first superstars in the NBA. West played 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was an all-star every season and was the 1971-72 MVP. In his time with LA, West and the Lakers only won one championship but they made nine Finals appearances. The historic Boston Celtics with Bill Russell beat West and the Lakers six times. In the 1969 NBA Finals, the Lakers lost to Boston but West was named Finals MVP. It’s still the only time in NBA history that a member of the losing team won that award. West averaged (37.9) points in a seven-game series.

Jerry West did not play when the three-point line was around but he was known for his great long-distance shooting. Arguably the most iconic shot of his career was a 60-foot buzzer-beater that sent Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals to OT. His nickname was “Mr.Clutch” and West was known for making and taking big shots. After his career was over, West coached the Lakers for three seasons before he took over as GM in 1982-83. He saw the Lakers win eight championships as GM for 18 seasons. West left after the 1999-00 season. The Lakers would win two more championships after that on their way to a three-peat. All that success was set up by Jerry West.

He signed Shaquille O’Neal to the Lakers and traded for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant. Two incredible and franchise-changing moves for the Lakers. In 2011, West joined the Warriors as an executive board member. He famously opposed the trade of Klay Thompson for Kevin Love and that deal never happened. To help the Warriors, West recruited Kevin Durant in the 2016 offseason and the team won back-to-back titles. West left in 2017 and joined the Clippers where he recruited Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to join LA. Jerry West was a legend of the game and he will be missed by the entire NBA community.

Latest news

View all
Arrow to top