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Jerry West rips Lakers, reveals his big issue with them

Jerry West

Jerry West is one of the greatest figures in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, but they apparently did something to really tick him off.

In an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic on Tuesday, the Basketball Hall of Famer West opened up about his contentious relationship with the Lakers of late and ripped the franchise over one particular issue — that they recently repealed the lifetime season tickets that were given to him by the late Dr. Jerry Buss. West said that his wife, Karen, received a callous text message from the Lakers last season informing her that the West family’s seats were being revoked, without warning or explanation.

“It was a cold phone text to my wife,” said West. “No one had the nerve to call me, but that’s how petty they are, OK? And I love the Lakers, OK? I love to see them do well. It’s great for basketball. I’m proud of everything that happened when I was there. I’m proud of everything that happened when I wasn’t there — the positives.

“But sometimes you feel like you’re discarded, like a piece of trash,” West added. “And there’s a couple of people over there — not [Lakers controlling owner] Jeanie [Buss] — but there’s a couple of people over there that, uh … I don’t get it. I don’t. … I always had a great relationship with Jeanie — at least I thought I did. I don’t know where it is now.”

West also said that he had interest in returning to the Lakers’ front office in 2017 but that the Lakers showed no interest in bringing him back. The team hired Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka that same year, and West instead ended up joining the rival LA Clippers as an executive board member.

Amick’s entire article contains other thoughts from West as well as some compelling details about West’s life and career. You can read it in full here.

The 83-year-old West is indisputably one of the greatest Lakers ever. His career with the team as a player, head coach, and executive spanned roughly four decades, netted seven total championships for the Lakers while West was there, and laid the groundwork for four more titles won after West left.

But over the last several years, West’s relationship with the Lakers has really taken an ugly turn. West allegedly trashed the Lakers in a leaked voicemail a couple of years ago. He then made zero secret of how offended he felt by a supposed slight from Jeanie Buss last year. Now with the Lakers revoking the West family’s season tickets altogether, it looks like their bridge with The Logo is burnt to the ground.

Photo: 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

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