NBA Icon Jerry West Passes Away at Age 86

One of the best-ever players to grace the game of basketball, Jerry West, passed away at age 86.

Updated on Jun 12, 2024  |  09:33 PM IST |  58.2K
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Jerry West

Trigger Warning: This article contains references to death.

Jerry West, the man who inspired the NBA logo, passed away quietly at home on Wednesday, June 12, according to a statement made by the Los Angeles Clippers. West was 86 years old.

West, one of the sport's most accomplished contributors, was a mainstay for eight decades, having won nine titles in his roles as a player, scout, coach, executive, and consultant. He advised the storied Golden State Warriors and was a crucial player in the Los Angeles Lakers' ten championships during the 1980s and 2000s.

Jerry West

What did NBA Commissioner Adam Silver say?

Silver said, "Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years. 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. He was the league’s first Finals MVP and made rising to the occasion his signature quality."

Adam Silver

Jerry West was a quality player and a quality manager

West, one of the first NBA superstars, established himself long before he became arguably the best general manager in history. Throughout his 14-year career, which included 12 All-NBA selections and five All-Defensive appearances while playing for the Lakers, West, a legend in West Virginia high school and college basketball, also served as co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team, was selected for every All-Star Game.

In nine trips to the NBA Finals, he only managed one championship, tragically losing six title series to Bill Russell's Boston Celtics. West's 1969 Finals MVP award is still the only time the award has ever been given to a member of the losing team. In a seven-game loss to the Celtics, he scored 37.9 points per game on average.

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As an executive for the Lakers, West traded Vlade Divac On July 11, 1996, for Kobe Bryant and on July 18, 1996, Jerry West signed Shaq as a free agent. Perhaps the greatest week any sports executive has ever had.


Jerry West will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

The first person to be honored as both a player and a contributor, West will be admitted as a contributor to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in October. In 2019, he also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Jerry West was one of the first players in the league to score 25,000 points; he joined Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson. Over his career, West averaged 27 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists.

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