NBA legend Jerry West dies at age 86

Los Angeles, CA –  NBA Legend Jerry West dies peacefully at his home, he was 86 years old. His death was reported by the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

American basketball executive and former player Jerry West arrives at the 22nd Annual Harold And Carole Pump Foundation Gala held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 19, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency)

West was a staple of the NBA basketball across eight decades, winning nine championships as a player, scout, coach, executive and consultant. He was an architect of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 10 titles in the 1980s and 2000s and an adviser to the dynastic Golden State Warriors.

He won a single title in nine trips to the NBA Finals, heartbreakingly losing six title series to Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics, and West’s Finals MVP award in 1969 remains the only time the honor has been bestowed on 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,” late and legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn once said of West. “He would sit by himself and stare into space. A loss just ripped his guts out.”

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 for his career. West was a deadly shooter before the advent of the 3-point line.

West’s pursuit of perfection led him to unprecedented success as a decision-maker in NBA front offices, twice winning Executive of the Year honors. First as a scout and then as GM, he helped construct the five-time champion “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980s. Before leaving the Lakers in 2000, West signed Shaquille O’Neal and traded for Kobe Bryant’s draft rights, laying the foundation for another five titles from 2000-10.

He joined the Golden State Warriors as an executive board member in 2011, famously opposing a would-be 2014 trade of Klay Thompson for Kevin Love and recruiting Kevin Durant in the 2016 offseason. West left the Warriors after the second of their four championships in 2017 and joined the L.A. Clippers in the same capacity, contributing to the recruitment of Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George in July 2019.

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

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




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