NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West said on Wednesday's Jim Rome Show that he would have left the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency for the New York Knicks if that option was available to him in the 1960s.
“If I would've had a choice and if the Knicks would've been able to assimilate me on their team, I would've left because I was so unhappy with then-owner Jack [Kent] Cook. I wasn't happy with him at all. I loved the players I was playing with,” West said. “Obviously, I loved Los Angeles and I loved our fans and I guess good fortune kept me in Los Angeles because we a choice or the ability to move.”
NBA introduced free agency in 1976 in a limited form.
West played for the Lakers from 1960 to 1974 and then served as a coach from 1976 to 1979. He won a championship with the Lakers in 1972 and was an NBA All-Star 14 times in his playing career. He later added another seven titles as an executive.
West, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, now works for the Golden State Warriors in an advisory role.