Pelicans Guard CJ McCollum Mourns The Passing Of NBA Legend Jerry West

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum weighs in on the tragic loss of NBA great Jerry West.
Sep 26, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA;   New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) during a press conference at the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day from the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) during a press conference at the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day from the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The NBA world is saddened by the loss of NBA great Jerry West on Wednesday. West passed away at the age of 86, survived by his wife, five children, and an entire basketball family appreciative of the iconic efforts he contributed to the game. NBA commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding West's passing.

“I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life.” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Wednesday. “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.”

New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum appeared on ESPN's First Take to discuss the impact of his loss on the NBA community.

"I was saddened by the loss and I want to send my condolences and prayers to his family, wife, and kids and everyone that is a part of basketball." McCollum continued, "I remember I looked up who the logo actually was and learned about the history of Jerry West and the impact he had on the game. He's the first and only player in the history of the NBA to be named the MVP of the Finals in which he lost. That sort of personifies his greatness."

May 24, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; Jerry West addresses the media during a press conference after being introduced as a new executive board member for the Golden State Warriors at the St. Regis Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; Jerry West addresses the media during a press conference after being introduced as a new executive board member for the Golden State Warriors at the St. Regis Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

West's accomplishments as a basketball executive mirrored and even succeded in some ways his greatness on the basketball court. He was the architect behind the 80's 'Showtime' Lakers, which went on to win five NBA championships in that era. Later, he helped construct the Warriors dynasty in Golden State, which McCollum witnessed firsthand while playing with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors knocked the Blazers out of the playoffs in three of four years when McCollum was there.

"What he was able to do post-playing career in terms of his accomplishments as an executive. Obviously, I played against some of those Warriors teams and understood the greatness he had in putting together the roster." McCollum concluded, "I just want to appreciate and celebrate his greatness in all the things he's done for the game of basketball and how he's influenced my career as well."


Published
Terry Kimble

TERRY KIMBLE

Pelicans Scoop Writer