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NBA legend Jerry West dies – dead at 86

Jerry West in a suit

Mar 15, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; LA Clippers executive board member Jerry West reacts in the first half against the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NBA legend Jerry West has died.

The Los Angeles Clippers announced that West “passed away peacefully” on Wednesday morning with his wife Karen by his side. West was 86.

West was one of the most influential figures in NBA history. He played for the Lakers for 14 seasons from 1960-1974 and led the team to an NBA title in 1972. West was also named NBA Finals MVP when the Lakers lost to the Bill Russell-led Boston Celtics in 1969.

West was named an All-Star in every season of his 14-year career. He was All-NBA First Team 10 times.

In 1976 — two years after he retired — West became the head coach of the Lakers. He led the team to the playoffs three straight years before transitioning to a scouting role. West was named general manager of the Lakers in 1982 and helped assemble L.A.’s historic “Showtime” roster, which won five championships.

West, who was named NBA Executive of the Year in 1994, later made the trade that brought Kobe Bryant to Los Angeles and signed Shaquille O’Neal as a free agent. He won his sixth championship as an executive in 2000 before leaving the Lakers. The team West assembled won three consecutive titles from 2000-2002.

West then worked as the general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies from 2002-2007 and won his second NBA Executive of the Year Award in 2004. He joined the Golden State Warriors’ front office in 2011 and was part of two more championship teams in 2015 and 2017.

In total, West had a hand in nine NBA titles as a player and executive.

West had most recently been an executive board member and consultant with the Clippers.

One of West’s nicknames was “the Logo,” as it is his silhouette that is featured on the NBA logo that was created and has been used since 1969.

West was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2010. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame as a contributor to the sport for his work as an executive and consultant earlier this year.


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