Jerry West, former Lakers legend, will leave his role as a special consultant for the Golden State Warriors and join the Los Angeles Clippers in a similar job, according to Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum. West had spent the past six years with the Warriors.
West’s career as a player and an executive is as decorated as anyone in the NBA. As a player, West won the 1972 championship, was named the only Finals MVP on a losing team in league history, and had 14 all-star appearances. After his career ended, West coached the Lakers for three seasons and eventually ended up as general manager, a title he held from 1982 to 2002. West is credited with his contributions to eight titles, helping build the Showtime Lakers and the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant dynasty which achieved a three-peat in the early 2000s.
In Golden State, West didn’t have power over personnel decisions, but he had an influence throughout the organization. When the Warriors recruited Kevin Durant last summer, West talked to Durant about the decision and told him his skills would be used better in Golden State than anywhere else. During West’s time with the Warriors, the team rose from a losing roster with some potential to a budding dynasty that could be as dominant as any we’ve seen in the league.
For West, the move from the Warriors to the Clippers is probably a practical one, not anything to do with the teams themselves. West still lives in Los Angeles and is 79 years old now. It’s also unlikely anymore rings as a special consultant will alter his legacy in any shape at this point — that has long been cemented as legendary.
However, maybe West’s presence contributes in some way to the Clippers finally breaking through.