Jerry West has spent decades with the Los Angeles Lakers as a player, coach and executive and in the process has become the face of the NBA. However, he has been constantly excluded several times while discussing the teams of historical players.
One such example came recently during the All the Smoke podcast, when Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was asked to name her top 5 most important Lakers of all time. Buss gave her top 5, listing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson.
Jerry West, when asked what he thought of Jeanie Buss’s list, was vividly upset on the Hoop Du Jour podcast.
“I saw the other day Jeanie Buss made a statement, the five most important Lakers, one of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard in my life. I was there a lot of times, had a lot of success,” West said.
“Be curious to know if they would have had that success if I hadn’t been there.”
Although players on the list are all legends and have made significant contributions to the Lakers, none have been an influential as West.
“And I don’t ever take credit for stuff, I don’t. When I was around, maybe I was just a good luck charm,” West continued. “But I do know, that when this thing fell apart, there were a lot of years where they weren’t very good.”
West played a big role in Lakers success. Besides winning 8 championships with the Lakers as player, coach and executive, West was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and still ranks fifth in league history with 27.03 PPG.
West was also the man behind the trade that landed Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. If that wasn’t enough, West is also the current face of the NBA logo!
What do you think- Should Jerry West be in the top 5 list for most important Lakers of all time?
Let us know what you think in the comments!