NBA: Lakers and league great Jerry West dies at age 86

Jerry West, who was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame three times in a storied career as a player and executive and whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning at the age of 86, the LA Clippers announced.

West was the third player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points, was an All-Star every year of his career and led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times, winning one title in 1971-72. He was also a 12-time All-NBA selection, an NBA Finals MVP as part of a losing team in 1969 and part of the NBA’s 75th anniversary team.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “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.”

“… I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life. 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.”

Following his playing career, West found title success as an NBA executive, building the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s that won five titles in that decade and overseeing the formation of the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant tandem. West stayed for just the first title in 2000 as the Lakers went on to three-peat.

He became an adviser for the Clippers starting in 2017, helping to engineer the breakup of the team’s “Lob City” core that led the way to the signing of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Clippers reached the Western Conference finals for the first time in 2021.

West also worked in the front offices of the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.

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