The Joe Gaither Show: NBA Hall-of-Famer Jerry West Passes at 86 Years Old

The nine-time NBA champion passed away on Wednesday.
The Joe Gaither Show featuring Matt Guzman and Joe Gaither.
The Joe Gaither Show featuring Matt Guzman and Joe Gaither. /

The basketball world collectively mourns on Wednesday as the Los Angeles Clippers announced the passing of NBA icon Jerry West. West, a nine-time NBA Champion and the inspiration for the NBA logo was 86 years old.

West was an electric basketball player out ot East Bank, West Virginia. He played his college basketball in Morgantown for the Mountaineers before being drafted with the second overall pick in the 1960 NBA Draft by the Minneapolis Lakers. He was named the 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player despite losing in the finals.

During his 14-year career with the Lakers, he appeared in nine NBA Finals, but won his only title as a player in 1972. He was named NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite losing to the Boston Celtics.

West averaged 27 points, 6.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds as a player becoming All-NBA First Team 10 times in his illustrious career. After retiring as a player he joined the Los Angeles Lakers exectutive team, first as a coach and later as a scout and general manager.

He helped construct the "Showtime Lakers" team that won five NBA Championships in the 1980s and continued to guide the storied franchise through transition in the mid-90s that led the organization to land Kobe Bryant in 1996. West went on to win one more championship in 2000 as the Lakers architect but departed before Byrant and Shaquille O'Neal won two additional titles.

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"The Logo" spent time running the Memphis Grizzlies before landing back on the West Coast to join the Golden State Warriors as an executive in 2011. His guidance helped the Warriors win its first title in 40 years in 2015 and together the club would win again in 2016-17 for West's eighth championship as an executive.

He finished his career in the Los Angeles Clippers front office but was unable to bring them to the championship heights in his other stops.

West was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as a player in 2010 and will be inducted again as an executive in 2024.


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Joe Gaither

JOE GAITHER