NBA: Former Lakers guard and Hall of Famer Jerry West dies aged 86

NBA: Former Lakers guard and Hall of Famer Jerry West dies aged 86

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard and Hall of Famer Jerry West has passed away at the age of 86, the Los Angeles Clippers announced on Wednesday.

A one-club man, West, whose silhouette is the inspiration behind the NBA logo, enjoyed a stellar career as a player, playing in nine NBA Finals and winning one title with the Lakers in 1972.

Nicknamed ‘Mr. Clutch’ for his undying ability to deliver late in the games, he won the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite being on the losing end, a record that still stands to this day.

A 14-time All-Star and a 12-time All-NBA guard, West was named to the NBA’s 35th, 50th, and 75th anniversary teams. He was selected for the Basketball Hall of Fame three times for his impact as a player and as an executive.

“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.”

West was the third player in NBA history to reach 25,000 career points after Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson, and he ended his 14-year career with 25,192.

The iconic star, whose No. 44 jersey cannot be forgotten, led the league in scoring in 1970 and assists in 1972. He was also part of the United States team that won a gold medal at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960.

West coached the Lakers for three years after retiring, but he earned most of his major success as an executive, leading to his winning eight titles and being named NBA Executive of the Year twice (1995 and 204).

He was credited with the formation of the 1980s basketball revelation tagged ‘the Showtime Lakers’, a team that won five titles in ten years. He also spent time as an executive with the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, where he won titles in 2015 and 2017, and most recently the Los Angeles Clip.

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