Twitter reacts to Jeanie Buss leaving Jerry West off her list of most important Lakers
Jeanie Buss and Jerry West now work for rival Los Angeles teams. But many believe that the former is underselling the extensive prior contributions of the latter to her club.
The Lakers controlling owner Buss appeared this week on Showtime’s “All The Smoke” podcast. During the episode, Buss was asked to name her five most important Lakers of all-time. Her list consisted of Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, and Phil Jackson.
Many on Twitter pointed out the most noticeable omission on her list: West. Others also mentioned players like Shaquille O’Neal, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain as worthy of a spot.
jerry west finding out jeanie buss left him off the most important lakers in history list pic.twitter.com/LIJI3pZxlj
— buckets (@buckets) April 24, 2021
When you consider his full body of work as a player and a GM, West is not only the most important person Laker in history, he is the most important person in NBA history.
And how you gonna have LeBron over Shaq, who has the most Finals MVPs of any Laker ever. https://t.co/s0iXqfUGIg
— Machine Pun Kelly (@KellyScaletta) April 24, 2021
The disrespect to Jerry West is beyond me smh. Rare L Jeanie. https://t.co/g5gE5vWEaV
— sportsMEMEber (@MEMEmoriesLast) April 24, 2021
Leaving out Jerry West has to be personal. also, LeBron over Shaq? https://t.co/eoFIgWUPfq
— by courtesy of Juliet.(@JothamKitara) April 24, 2021
I love @JeanieBuss. Love. But this is a little confusing to me. Phil and LeBron are more important than Elgin and Jerry? Than Pat Riley and Shaq? Than Wilt and George Mikan? It’s just an opinion. But I disagree. https://t.co/EHzg6Zy12k
— Jeff Pearlman (@jeffpearlman) April 24, 2021
Nobody will argue with the inclusion of the Lakers franchise icons Bryant, Johnson, and Abdul-Jabbar. Jackson, who is Buss’ former fiancé, makes sense for her to mention as well. But James is probably the most debatable member of the list. He is in just his third season with the team, having won one ring for them in less than 200 games played so far as a Laker.
West, meanwhile, was the first great Los Angeles Lakers player along with Baylor. He also helped build two ensuing Laker dynasties as an executive, putting together both the Showtime era as well as the Shaq-Kobe era.
But West, who now works for the rival LA Clippers as an executive board member, has not been on the best terms with the Lakers in recent years. Perhaps that played a factor in Buss’ omission of him from her list.