Jerry West, who is present in the very silhouette of the NBA, passed away peacefully in his LA home yesterday. The Clippers, the team that had him as an advisor, were the first to release a lengthy statement. His legacy and history with the City of Angel is traced back six decades! It came in the Purple and Gold, initially. West was largely the man who helped Dr. Jerry Buss revolutionize the franchise, and make it the market hub that it has grown to today. He played 14 seasons for the Lakers, then added experience as a scout.

In hindsight, West could be labeled as the most important figure in the LA Lakers’ history. He was the first draft pick as they moved from Minneapolis to LA. He assembled the Showtime Lakers and drafted Kobe. Yet in 2000 he abruptly left.

Since then, nothing has been the same. The most recent of their troubles came with the desperation to fill the head coach vacancy. It saw them offer UConn’s Dan Hurley a 6-year $70 million deal. It would make the first-year HC one of the highest-paid, but it didn’t resemble the Lakers’ utmost commitment. They could have offered more, many believe. It showed a harsh mirror to Jeanie Buss, the Lakers President. Colin Cowherd entered the public speculations, saying, “I had a discussion with somebody yesterday, and they said, to preserve the Jerry-Buss legacy, Jeanie may want to consider selling. She can’t compete financially, it’s not an elite front office”


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“I thought between this coaching search, which has been embarrassing when you go after a college coach and you can’t bid more than Kentucky does. California is the largest economy in the country. Los Angeles, I think, is the biggest single-city economy…I thought they handled the Jerry West thing poorly,” Cowherd concluded on his podcast. The NBA analyst, in the end, was talking about how the LA franchise took 4-5 hours to publicly release a statement after Jerry West’s death.

How can the most storied and popular NBA franchise not have the monetary strength to compete with other NBA owners? Well, it’s not that they don’t have it. Not as much as Steve Ballmer, the Clippers owner, but Buss has the resources to alter the franchise’s direction. From the looks of it, they just don’t want to shed money on staff personnel.

USA Today via Reuters

The Lakers were never cheap when they wanted Anthony Davis, nor was it the case with Russell Westbrook. However, their management lacks some major presences that would help accent the performance of their roster. Notably, they don’t even possess a scouting unit that travels to each NBA game in search of the right pieces. They lack in many other departments. But of course, they have the ultimate brag of winning 17 titles.

With that being said, it’s vital to focus on the present. The Lakers might be seeing the last years of LeBron James. His dynamic with Davis has proven to be of Championship caliber with the appropriate components around. They need better shooters, a flexible defense, and most importantly, the right voice to lead. If they hesitate to splash money in these cases, the organization might fall into stagnancy for a long time.

Buss can fetch a lucrative fee if she feels like selling the Lakers. A multi-billionaire will likely step up and the colorful franchise will revive its boldness yet again. A new outlook could help preserve the Lakers brand and improve competitiveness in the LeBron James era.

The sad reality between Jerry West and the Lakers

West had his footprints all over the Purple and Gold. They boast a rich history full of silverware essentially because of the hand of Jerry West. The brilliant executive laid down the bricks for ‘Showtime’ to dominate and encapsulate the NBA crowds. He later lured Shaquille O’Neal and drafted a raw Kobe Bryant.


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In all, West had contributed to nine of the 17 championship banners hoisted proudly at the Crypto.com arena. Yet, the legend was estranged from the club he pretty much built for the past 24 years. He reportedly had an issue with the hierarchy and power vested in the hands of Phil Jackson, who at the time was dating Jeanie Buss.

According to the LA Times, West even had his season tickets revoked by the franchise. Until the very last day, Jerry West shared a turbulent relationship with the Lakers. It even made him regret spending all of his illustrious 14 seasons with the Lakers. Even though he has a statue outside of their arena, ‘Mr. Clutch’ was not nearly as celebrated as any other Laker great.

They only released a brief statement after his passing. It wasn’t even a fitting tribute. This has put the Lakers under serious scrutiny. Recovering from this position seems improbable. What do you think?


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To know how Shaq’s former agent Leonard Armato respected the great Jerry West, watch this video below.