Jerry West is the logo, as everybody knows. When the league chose West’s silhouette to represent the grace of NBA players, it was a nod to the fact that nobody moved better on a basketball court. What’s become abundantly clear since his retirement as a player in 1974 is that Jerry West makes great moves off the court, too. As part owner and basketball consultant at Golden State, West was instrumental in bringing in coach Steve Kerr and, as Chris Ballard of SI reports, keeping Klay Thompson in Warriors colors.
The 77-year-old West, the firstest of first ballot Hall of Famers, was an extraordinarily versatile player, named to the first five NBA All-Defensive Teams — and they didn’t start those teams until West was 32! He still holds the record for points per game in a single playoff series, once averaging 46.3. (Even LeBron James isn’t doing that in the current series.) But when West stopped dribbling and started drafting, he won six championships as the GM of the Lakers. (Later he was named NBA Executive of the Year after turning around the Grizzlies in 2004.) Now Jerry West is one win away from his 7th ring in the front office — to go with the single title he won as a player. Nearly out of fingers, he can put it next to his Olympic Gold medal perhaps. They called him Mr. Clutch, and they still must.