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NBA Legend and Inspiration Behind League’s Logo Jerry West Passes

todayJune 12, 2024 11

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Jerry West, the iconic basketball player and executive whose silhouette inspired the NBA’s logo, passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 86. The LA Clippers, where he served as an advisor, announced his death.

West’s career was marked by incredible achievements both on and off the court. He was the third player in NBA history to score over 25,000 points, an All-Star every year of his career, and led the Los Angeles Lakers to nine NBA Finals, winning a title in the 1971-72 season. His accolades include 12-time All-NBA selection, NBA Finals MVP in 1969, and a place on 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. “He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments. 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.”

After retiring from playing, West became a successful NBA executive. He built the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s, leading to five titles and forming the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant tandem. West later worked with the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and the Clippers, where he played a key role in signing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

West’s basketball journey began at West Virginia University, where he was a two-time All-American and led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game. He also won a gold medal with the U.S. team at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Nicknamed “Mr. Clutch” for his late-game heroics, West was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1980 and again as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team in 2010. Later this year, he will be enshrined for a third time as a contributor.

Even in his later years, West remained a revered figure in the basketball world, often seen courtside at Summer League games in Las Vegas, where he interacted with players and fans alike.

“The game transcends many things,” West said last year. “The players change, the style of play may change, but the respect that you learn in this game never changes.”

Jerry West leaves behind a monumental legacy in the basketball world, and his contributions will be remembered for generations. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and their family. Rest in peace, Mr. Clutch.

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Written by: Ag Entertainment

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