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“Cookie and I Love You!”: Magic Johnson Honors Jerry West’s Glorious Legacy After Third Hall of Fame Election

Published 04/03/2024, 9:00 PM EDT

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Jerry West has made it to the Hall of Fame for a record third time. The first HOF came in 1979 for his contribution to the NBA as a player. And the second in 2010 for securing gold at the 1960 Summer Olympics for the US basketball team. Now Jerry gets recognition for his work as an NBA executive with the LA Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Golden State Warriors. On this note, Lakers legend Magic Johnson has taken the opportunity to extend best wishes and his gratitude after Jerry’s big moment.

“God bless you, and you already know Cookie and I love you!” the 5x NBA champion posted on X. He congratulated Jerry, highlighting him as the logo king and a 2x Hall of Famer. Magic also thanked the NBA executive for drafting him from Michigan State to the Lakers 45 years ago. “Together, we won 5 championships! You extended your winning legacy as the architect for the Kobe and Shaq era with an NBA Championship three-peat,” read the post by Johnson.

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He also spotlighted Jerry’s work with Memphis and his time with the Warriors during which they won 2 championships. “This honor is well-deserved and well-earned!” Magic Johnson stated. Notably, once a Laker himself, West acted as the General Manager for the team for almost two decades. He later plied his trade for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2002 to 2007. He was also the executive board member for Golden State Warriors for almost 6 years. But the ones who have heard the detailed story of the 1979 draft pick by the Lakers may wonder if this all would have been the same had Jerry gone through with his first choice.

Read More: Magic Johnson Celebrates First-Ever NCAA Milestone as the Final Four Prepares for 2024 Showdown

Was Magic Johnson Jerry West’s first preference in the 1979 NBA Draft?

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The 2022 show ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’ portrayed that Jerry was not in favor of Johnson being the Lakers’ number 1 pick in the draft. Even the book on which the show is based, ‘Showtime’, mentions that the NBA executive wanted Sidney Moncrief over Magic Johnson for the Lakers.

“West wanted Moncrief, and he made it very clear to Jack Kent Cooke… There was a strong belief, for a brief time at least, that Moncrief, not Magic, would wind up a Laker,” stated Rich Levin, who covered the team for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, as per the book.

However, it is said that the preference was not as strong as displayed in the TV show. In fact, the 5x NBA champion had presented West with a ‘Legend of the Year’ award once. During the ceremony, he mentioned the NBA executive to be his friend. And the latest example of this is Magic’s heartfelt message for Jerry on his third-time election into the HoF.

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Read More: Lakers Legend Jerry West Reveals How He Ribbed Kobe Bryant About His ‘Black Mamba’ Nickname

 

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Written by:

Khelendra Kumar Yadav

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Khelendra is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports, where he brings insightful analysis and engaging content to basketball enthusiasts worldwide. With a passion for the game cultivated from his own experiences as a basketball player, he has represented his school team in numerous tournaments, honing both skills and an intimate understanding of the sport. Khelendra holds a PG Diploma in Digital Media from a reputed university, providing him with a solid foundation in multimedia storytelling and digital content creation.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra