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Remembering NBA legend Jerry West

The NBA has lost an icon. Former player, coach, executive, and Hall of Famer Jerry West passed away on Wednesday at 86.

"Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments. I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life. On behalf of the NBA, we send our deepest condolences to Jerry's wife, Karen, his family and his many friends in the NBA community."


West was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1960. He played for 14 years, all with the Lakers. He averaged 27 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.7 assists, was an All-Star every season he was in the league, and made the All-NBA team 12 times. Despite only winning one title in nine appearances in the NBA Finals, West earned the moniker of "Mr. Clutch," and is the only player in NBA history to win Finals MVP while being on the losing side, when the Lakers lost in 1969 to the Boston Celtics. West put up a historic stat line of 37.9 points, 7.4 assists, and 4.7 rebounds in seven games, leading the Lakers in points and assists. When he retired in 1974 he was the franchise leader in scoring with 25,192 points. That mark puts him at No. 25 on the NBA career scoring list, ahead of Patrick Ewing and behind Russell Westbrook.


After retiring West coached the Lakers for three seasons before moving into the front office as a scout in 1979. Three years later, West earned the GM job with the Lakers. Along with Pat Riley coaching Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, West helped build one of the greatest dynasties in the sport with the "Show Time," Lakers, winning five rings from 1980-1988. West stayed on through the first Kobe and Shaq LA squad in the 1999-2000 season. After five years with the Memphis Grizzlies (2002-2007), West returned to California, this time to the Golden State Warriors as a team executive. Along with Bob Meyers, he helped usher in another dynasty, this time the Steph Curry Golden State Warriors, winning titles with them in 2015 and in 2017 with Kevin Durant. He was named to the NBA’s 35th, 50th, and 75th-anniversary teams. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice, as a player and as a member of the 1960 gold medal-winning US Olympic men’s team. Later this year he’ll be inducted a third time as a contributor.


West’s passing is a huge loss for the NBA. He helped change the NBA both as a player and GM, leaving a lasting mark on the sport. As a coach and executive, he worked with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Shaquille O’Neil, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and many others. West played a substantial role in those players reaching the legendary status they have. He helped the Warriors and Clippers become title contenders and the Warriors championship success is partly due to him.


The NBA will pay tribute to "The Logo," before Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks.








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