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Legendary Lakers player, NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West dies at age 86

Los Angeles Lakers legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry West has died at the age of 86. The Los Angeles Clippers, whom West had been a board member and consultant since 2017, announced Wednesday that he “passed away peacefully” with his wife, Karen, by his side.

Per EPSN, West’s silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo. West spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Lakers, winning the 1972 NBA championship with the Lakers as a player and eight additional titles as an executive with the Lakers and Golden State Warriors. He became the third player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points, and was also an All-Star every year of his career, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times and winning one title in 1971-72. He was also a 12-time All-NBA selection, an NBA Finals MVP as part of a losing team in 1969 — the first year that award was given out and still the only time it went to a player on the losing team — and part of the NBA’s 75th anniversary team.

After retiring at the conclusion of the 1973-74 season, West served as head coach of the Lakers for three seasons from 1976 to 1979, going 145-101 with three playoff appearances and one trip to the Western Conference Finals. He transitioned into a front-office role with the Lakers after that, and by 1982, he was named the organization’s general manager. West left the Lakers after the 1999-00 season after winning six championships as a member of the Lakers’ front office, and he was responsible for franchise-defining personnel moves such as trading for Kobe Bryant and signing Shaquille O’Neal in free agency. He served as the Memphis Grizzlies’ GM from 2002 to 2007 and then joined the Warriors’ front office in 2011 as an executive board member. West returned to L.A. in 2017, but as a member of the Clippers’ front office, serving on their board as they reached the playoffs five times in seven seasons.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the statement: “Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years. 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… I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life. On behalf of the NBA, we send our deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife, Karen, his family and his many friends in the NBA community.”

The NBA paid tribute to West before Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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