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Believe Jerry West on who deserves credit for the Clippers’ coup

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We have that and more in Friday’s NBA newsletter.

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Jerry West is a basketball legend in so many ways that his presence in the LA Clippers organization of course leads to him getting some or all of the credit for the monumental results of this summer.

A couple days ago, West told Dan Patrick that these Clippers are the best organization he’s ever been with. That includes the legendary 1960s and 70s Lakers, the Showtime Lakers, the most relocation Grizzlies (can’t win them all), and the most recent Warriors dynasty. That’s high praise!

Something else West said in that radio show: he had very little to do with bringing Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles. He credits the rest of the Clippers front office and, notably, Kawhi. West acknowledges this is a new era of player power and that changes how front offices work. West also says he’s generally gotten too much credit over the course of his career.

These types of statements can feel like false modesty. The West we’ve known for decades is not modest. It’s probably wise to take him at his word. That means that the rest of the league should really fear what Steve Ballmer and Kawhi have built in Los Angeles, no matter how much longer West stays consulting for the team.

He gets the job done

Ben Golliver notes Gersson Rosas is the NBA’s first Latin-American to run a team. Rosas is Colombian, and moved to the United States at age 3. He’s now using his story to show the value of immigrants while some percentage of the country is denying that value.

I would say this is healthy insomuch as blatantly, purely positive examples are sometimes necessary to get through to the people predisposed toward racism or xenophobia. But there is immense value in every human, every child, not just the ones who become high-powered NBA team executives. It shouldn’t be about the results. It should be about human empathy and compassion for all those who live on this spinning rock.

I’m sure Rosas agrees with this basic sentiment. I think we all need to be careful on how we laud highly successful immigrants in basketball in that it doesn’t diminish the case for welcoming those who won’t be NBA general managers or MVPs or the like.

Links

Dan LeBatard with a passionate, correct take on the President’s conduct and crossing the editorial barrier in sports on critiquing racism.

Mirin Fader on Alex Antetokounmpo, the MVP’s 17-year-old brother. Mirin is a master of the form.

How Chris Paul, union president, might be making things weird for Chris Paul, aging and highly-paid superstar. There’s some debate on whether the Over-38 Rule actually helped CP3 make more money. Regardless, the issue of prioritizing star issues at the expense of the union’s middle class is real.

Jimmer Fredette is going to Greece.

The WNBA will televise its all-star draft on Tuesday.

Marc Stein on the power of continuity.

If you subscribe to TrueHoop, you’re reading an excellent series on the intersections of the billionaire class personified by child rapist Jeffrey Epstein and the NBA. If you don’t subscribe to TrueHoop but you can afford to, well, you should.

Turning Kendrick Perkins into a pundit.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is unsurprisingly the early favorite for MVP.

Mark Cuban with a thoughtful post on player mobility and how the league will cope with it.

Tom Haberstroh on whether Ben Simmons is worth the rookie max extension even if he doesn’t get a jumper.

Be excellent to each other.