Jerry West, basketball icon, NBA champion, Basketball Hall of Famer, and the logo for the association, has passed away at the age of 86. According to Chris Haynes, West died with his wife Karen by his side.

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Born on May 28, 1938, in Chelyan, West Virginia, West’s influence on the game of basketball is immeasurable, spanning an illustrious playing career and transformative executive roles.

West first rose to prominence at West Virginia University, where his stellar play led his team to the NCAA finals in 1959. His exceptional performance caught the attention of the NBA, and he was drafted second overall by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1960.


With the Lakers, who soon relocated to Los Angeles, West quickly became one of the league’s premier guards. Nicknamed “Mr. Clutch” for his remarkable ability to deliver in crucial moments, he was renowned for his scoring ability, precise shooting, and defensive tenacity. Over 14 seasons, he earned 14 All-Star selections and was named to the All-NBA First Team 10 times. West led the Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times, finally winning a championship in 1972.

West’s silhouette is immortalized in the NBA’s iconic logo, symbolizing his enduring legacy. After retiring as a player in 1974, he transitioned to coaching and later to an executive role, where he continued to shape the NBA. As the General Manager of the Lakers, he constructed championship-winning teams in the 1980s and 2000s, securing stars like Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant.

West’s impact extended beyond the Lakers. He played a crucial role in the success of the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors, further cementing his reputation as one of basketball’s greatest minds. His most recent role is an executive for the Los Angeles Clippers.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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