Jerry West, NBA Hall of Famer, Dies At Age 86

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Jerry West, NBA Hall of Famer, Dies At Age 86

NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West died Wednesday morning at the age of 86, the Los Angeles Clippers announced. In April, West became the first individual to be selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame three times in his career as a player, executive, and contributor to the game.

Jerr West won the 1972 NBA Finals as a player, eight more championships as an executive

The contributor election is for his work as a general manager with the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, along with his time spent as a consultant with the Golden State Warriors and Clippers.

In those roles, West won eight championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2015, 2017) and was twice named NBA Executive of the Year (1995 with the Lakers, 2004 with the Grizzlies).

As a player, West won the 1972 NBA Finals with the Lakers against the New York Knicks. He also won the 1969 NBA Finals MVP award versus the Boston Celtics.

“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.”

Jerry West was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame as a player in 1980 and again in 2010 as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team

Furthermore, West was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1980 and again as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team in 2010. He will be enshrined for a third time later this year as a contributor.

West, who was nicknamed “The Logo” and “Mr. Clutch,” was the third player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points. As a 6-foot-3 point guard/shooting guard, he was an All-Star every year of his career and led the Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times, winning one title in 1971-72.

West also received 12 All-NBA selections, and he is still the only player in league history to win Finals MVP as part of a losing team in 1969. In 2021, he was named to the NBA’s 75th anniversary team as well.

Additionally, West scored the most points (1,679) in the NBA Finals in league history. He also recorded the most 30-point games in NBA Finals history with 31. Mr. Clutch is 25th on the league’s all-time scoring list with 25,192 points.

The NBA is planning a pregame tribute to West before Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

West is one of three players to win a Finals MVP, be named NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player, and earn an Olympic gold medal

Jerry West was “the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him,” the Clippers said in announcing his death.

Following his playing career, West helped build the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s that won five championships in that decade and oversaw the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant duo.

West stayed for just the first title in 2000 as the Lakers went on to three-peat. He then became an adviser for the Clippers starting in 2017.

The Clippers reached the Western Conference finals for the first time in 2021.

As a student-athlete at West Virginia University, he was a two-time All-American and averaged 24.8 points per game. He led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game, being named Final Four Most Outstanding Player.

West also joined Oscar Robertson in helping the U.S. win a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

All of these accomplishments made West one of only three players (along with Magic Johnson and Hakeem Olajuwon) to win a Finals MVP, be named NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player, and earn an Olympic gold medal.