Jerry West trashed Lakers in alleged voicemail about Kawhi Leonard
The man who claims Jerry West agreed to pay him more than $2 million in exchange for his help in recruiting Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers last year has included a voicemail in his lawsuit. He says the message is one West left him, and in it the Clippers executive allegedly expresses his gratitude and trashes the Los Angeles Lakers.
Johnny Wilkes, who is suing West for $2.5 million, shared the voicemail with TMZ. The recording features a man that sounds like West telling Wilkes “I really want to thank you a lot for trying to help.” The man who left the message says he heard a rumor that the Lakers thought they were going to sign Leonard, and he didn’t understand why.
“I find it hard to believe he would want to go to that s—show where he wouldn’t even get his name in the paper,” West allegedly said. “He wouldn’t be the face of the franchise, that’s for sure. He might be the best player on the team, but…”
The man believed to be West went on to say “I really, really appreciate everything you’ve done” and offered to take Wilkes to dinner as a way of saying thanks.
Wilkes claims in his lawsuit that West assured him on multiple occasions that he would pay him $2.5 million if he helped deliver Leonard to the Clippers. You can read the full details of the allegations here.
West, 82, works as an executive for the Clippers but was both a player and coach for the Lakers. He is considered one of the best players in Lakers franchise history.
The NBA has launched an investigation into Wilkes’ allegations, though the Clippers have denied any wrongdoing from West.