Home Sports Jerry West, the NBA’s Iconic Logo, Passes Away at 86

Jerry West, the NBA’s Iconic Logo, Passes Away at 86

by Emily Clark

Jerry West, the iconic inspiration behind the NBA’s logo and one of basketball’s most accomplished figures, passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 86, the Los Angeles Clippers announced on Wednesday.

West’s illustrious career spanned over eight decades, during which he won nine championships as a player, scout, coach, executive, and consultant. He was instrumental in building the Los Angeles Lakers dynasties of the 1980s and 2000s and served as an adviser to the Golden State Warriors during their dominant run in the 2010s.

Before becoming one of the NBA’s greatest general managers, West was a celebrated player. He was a high school and college basketball legend in West Virginia and co-captained the 1960 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. During his 14-year playing career with the Lakers, West was selected to the All-Star Game each season, earned 12 All-NBA selections, and made five All-Defensive teams.

West experienced both triumph and heartbreak in the NBA Finals, winning one championship in nine appearances and famously becoming the only player to be named Finals MVP while on the losing team in 1969. He averaged 37.9 points per game in that seven-game series against the Boston Celtics.

“He took a loss harder than any player I’ve ever known,” said the late Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn. “He would sit by himself and stare into space. A loss just ripped his guts out.”

West was known for his relentless competitiveness and exceptional scoring ability, even before the advent of the 3-point line. His 60-foot buzzer-beater in the 1970 Finals against the New York Knicks remains one of his most memorable moments. West finished his career with averages of 27 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game, joining Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson as one of the league’s first 25,000-point scorers.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments. He was the league’s first Finals MVP and made rising to the occasion his signature quality.”

West’s success extended beyond his playing career. He won Executive of the Year honors twice and was a key architect of the “Showtime” Lakers, who won five championships in the 1980s. He later signed Shaquille O’Neal and traded for Kobe Bryant, setting the stage for another five Lakers titles from 2000 to 2010.

After leaving the Lakers in 2000, West served as general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies and later joined the Golden State Warriors as an executive board member in 2011. He was instrumental in shaping the Warriors’ championship teams, notably opposing a trade that would have sent Klay Thompson to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love and recruiting Kevin Durant in 2016. West joined the Clippers in 2017, contributing to their acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in 2019.

West will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in October as a contributor, making him the first person to be enshrined as both a player and a contributor. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019.

West’s personal life, marked by a troubled childhood and the death of his older brother in the Korean War, was not as charmed as his basketball career. He became a mental health advocate, sharing his lifelong battle with depression in his memoir, “West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life.”

“The greatest honor a man can have is the respect and friendship of his peers. You have that more than any man I know,” Bill Russell told West on “Jerry West Night” in 1972. “Jerry, you are, in every sense of the word, truly a champion. If I could have one wish granted, it would be that you would always be happy.”

West is survived by his five children, including his son, Jerry, who is a professional scout for the Detroit Pistons. His legacy as one of basketball’s greatest figures will forever be remembered.

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Victor June 12, 2024 - 9:04 AM

Prayers up for the family, friends and loved ones of the legendary Jerry West who passed away today at the age of 86. His impact was enormous and the man who is the NBA logo will never be forgotten. RIP

Jeremiah June 12, 2024 - 9:03 AM

In one of his last public appearances, Jerry West shared how important the influence of black men in his life in an emotional revelation is such a class act and a privilege to witness,Jerry West is an example of a true humble human being we all should aspire for. RIP

George June 12, 2024 - 9:02 AM

Rest in Peace Jerry West, The Logo #NBA 

Max June 12, 2024 - 9:01 AM

Jerry West is a basketball icon.

◻️NBA champ as player
◻️Finals MVP despite team losing
◻️14x All-Star (every year)
◻️9 Finals appearances
◻️Highest series PPG (46.3)
◻️Scoring and assist title
◻️12x All-NBA
◻️5x All-Defense
◻️2x Exec of the Year
◻️8 rings as exec
◻️Helped build Shaq/Kobe and Showtime Lakers teams
◻️Helped build Warriors dynasty

RIP to The Logo 🙏

Dave June 12, 2024 - 9:00 AM

Jerry West aka “The Logo”

🔸NBA champion (1972)
🔸NBA Finals MVP (1969)
🔸14x NBA All-Star
🔸12x All-NBA Team
🔸5x All-Defensive Team
🔸NBA Anniversary team (35th, 50th, 75th)
🔸8x NBA champion as an executive

Nick June 12, 2024 - 8:59 AM

Jerry West lived a profound basketball and American life — iconic as a player, executive and looming figure in the history of the game. He was an MVP, a champion, a gold medalist, a dynasty-builder and literally the league’s logo. His loss leaves a massive void.

Chris June 12, 2024 - 8:59 AM

RIP JERRY WEST aka Mr. Clutch aka The Logo!

The only player to ever win NBA Finals MVP on a losing team. He’s also 1 of 7 players with scoring & assist titles. Of those 7, he & LeBron are the only ones to make an All-Defensive 1st team.

Zach June 12, 2024 - 8:58 AM

The Logo.

Rest in peace to the legendary Jerry West. 🙏


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