ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Opinion: Why Jerry West should be the silhouette of the NBA

Updated on September 19, 2020
Michael Mannen profile image

Sportswriter and analyst for fun. Sometimes I will write about other topics.

No player in the Basketball Hall of Fame has helped shape the NBA more as a player, coach, and executive than Jerry West.

Jerry West is often regarded by many as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

A picture of West was selected as the logo for the NBA when it was at war with the ABA. At that time, the ABA had the best player in basketball in Julius Erving. The NBA tried to invent itself and a photo of West was rumored to selected as the logo because it captured the character of the NBA and the game of basketball.

However, nearly 50 years later, it seems that West was the perfect selection for the logo of the NBA. And considering what happened during the 2019 free agency, maybe this should have published sooner to give the Los Angeles Laker fans some warning about what they are competing against in Jerry West. Let's start with his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Let's examine Jerry West's career as a player, executive, and coach and why it has made such a mark on the NBA.

Jerry West as a player had a storied career with the Lakers that included nine final appearances and an NBA championship.

West was well regarded as the unspoken leader in all of his final appearances with the Lakers. West, in his final years with the Lakers, was instrumental in helping the Lakers acquire Wilt Chamberlain in a trade that helped the1971-72 Lakers when 69 games; a record that was not broken for 23 years. On the 1971-72 Lakers, West led the team in points, assists, and steals. While on the 1970s Lakers, West competed against and beat some of the greatest teams in NBA history including the Bucks with Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul Jabba and the New York Knicks with seven future Hall of Fame players on their squad.

As a Laker, he played with Pat Riley, Gail Goodrich, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor. West helped mentor and develop Pat Riley, who would later go on to coach the Lakers to 4 NBA titles and the Miami Heat to one Title. As an executive, Pat Riley would help develop Lebron James and help the Miami Heat when two more titles.

West ended his career with the Lakers averaging 29.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, 5.6 RPG and remains as the all-time leader of points scored in the NBA finals. Pretty hard to top. However, for West, this was only the edges of the shadow he started to cast over the NBA.

West, after he retired as a player, was quickly hired as a head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers a year after they acquired Kareem Abdul Jabbar. West coached the Lakers to the Western Conference finals his first year as a head coach after the Lakers had not made the playoffs the previous season. West coached Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for two of his MVPs with the Lakers and assumed the role of scout and GM after his head coaching job. West has been cited by many as being instrumental to drafting Magic Johnson and making him the face of the showtime Lakers. West remained as an executive with the Lakers for their five titles in the 1980s.

West would later return to an executive position in the Lakers organization and helped revitalize the franchise by identifying Kobe as a talent in the NBA draft, acquiring Shaq from the Orlando Magic, and signing Phil Jackson as a coach for the Lakers. The result was three more titles for the Lakers.

However, the Lakers would not be the last franchise that Jerry West would revitalize. West in 2002 was brought in by the Grizzlies and helped the Grizzlies draft and develop talents such as Pau Gasol and Jason Williams. West helped turn the Grizzlies into a consistent playoff contender and one of the most consistent franchises in the NBA.

In 2011, West was at it again and was hired by the Golden State Warriors in the infancy of the team's dynasty. With the Warriors, he served as an executive for the Warriors when they drafted talents such as Klay Thompsons, Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes. And he remained with the Warriors when they won their first championship and acquired Kevin Durant in free agency. And Jerry West has not stopped.

In 2017, West joined the Los Angeles Clippers organization. For the 2019-20 season, the Clippers are on the precipice of dethroning the Lakers in LA after signing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the 2019 free agency. It is surprising since the Clippers in the past two years they have lost talents such as Austin Rivers, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul. And yet, from last season, they progressed from the 10th seed to the 8th seed in the Western Conference without an All-Star on their roster. Signing Kawhi Leonard was instrumental in preventing the Lakers from forming an unbeatable super team for the foreseeable future.

Either Jerry West is the luckiest man alive, or he really is "Mr. Clutch." Regardless, Jerry West has been instrumental in building some of the NBA's greatest dynasties. He has been helpful in drafting, coaching, and developing some of the NBA's most exceptional talent. And as a player, he competed and beat some of the biggest legends in NBA history. Jerry West, as an executive and coach, has claimed 8 NBA championships and two executives of the year awards.

Arguably, no player, not even Michael Jordan, has impacted the NBA more than Jerry West as a player, coach, and executive. He casts the largest shadow over the NBA and should be its silhouette. And to think Jerry West lost 7 NBA finals when competing against Bill Russell. So where do Jordan fans send their thanks to to Bill Russell?

The Author
The Author

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Michael Mannen


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)