HoopsHype Jerry West rumors

March 14, 2013 Updates

“I’m flattered, to be honest,” said Garnett. “When they told me that I passed Wes Unseld on the rebounding, I was at a loss for words. You guys have no idea what I was like as a kid. I didn’t have all the magazines, but for some reason I had all the pictures that were in the magazines. I don’t know how I was able to acquire that, but that’s another story. I just fantasized, mimicked, appreciated — all the things that a young kid does when he’s creating heroes, when he’s creating stories in his head. Anything to generate any type of motivation, and I guess at times to generate a distraction. I used it for inspiration, getting through a hard day. WEEI.com

March 6, 2013 Updates

Q: The Sixers are being squeezed by Andrew Bynum and his time-bomb knees. He's a free agent this summer and could walk and leave Philly holding an empty bag. Even if he signs in Philly, he could be a disaster. You guys have a similar situation with Andrew Bogut, although he has another year left on his deal. First it was his ankle, now his back. After missing last season, he has only played 12 games. Fans hated the deal, too. Has this been a disaster for the Warriors? Jerry West: When we traded for Andrew we were well aware a lot of people were not for the trade. For a coach to have a good player just for bits and pieces, the way he's adjusted to patching up holes says a lot for Mark. Our front office has also done a good job giving us depth. It's amazing how we've hung in there without him. He's a good player who makes it so much easier for the other players, but the problem is he's not out there. It does hurt us. We're hopeful that somewhere along the way he'll contribute for us. SportsonEarth

Jerry West: I'll say Lebron is in another world right now. He's a player for the decade. You watch him and you can tell his teammates love him. What you can't do is judge him by the championships right now. Just his all-around play and skills. He's a superstar who's very unselfish. You don't find that too often. He could lead the league in scoring every year if he wanted. But he'd rather find any way to beat you even if it meant giving up the ball. To watch his growth as a player and person has been pretty special. I would have enjoyed having him as a teammate. SportsonEarth

Q: Like some, I questioned the hire of Mark Jackson, a smart guy who never served as a head or assistant coach at any level, even church league. There's precedent for that: Pat Riley, whom you recommended for the Lakers, Doc Rivers, Don Nelson all turned out well. But they're exceptions. Why did the Warriors take a shot on Jackson? Jerry West: I talked to him for an hour during the interview process. I said, 'Mark, does it concern you at all that you haven't had any experience?' I asked him would he even know how to organize a practice. And he gave me one of the best answers I ever heard. He said he learned more as an analyst talking to other coaches than if he had been an assistant somewhere. He took mental notes from the best coaches in the game. The calmness I see from him on the bench is reassuring. I might want to kill someone with all the unforced turnovers I see. Mark is almost like a grandfather, putting his arm around the kids. He has such a wonderful way with the players. That's a strength. And they play for him. SportsonEarth

Jerry West: When I played I never thought I was better than anyone. Now you have guys running down the floor, making three-point shots and then holding up three fingers. I have no idea where that comes from. It's not me. I don't like it. I don't like players who have to promote themselves. A guy running around beating himself on the chest. I don't know what that's about. If you're good enough you are promoted. I see guys sitting on the bench laughing and they're down 20. That would never happen with the Lakers. I wouldn't put up with it. Nor would anyone else on the team. Wilt wouldn't and neither would Elgin. And I wouldn't put up with it as a general manager. I would hope I'd have the support of ownership to do my job in that situation. I guess I like the Yankees, no name on the back of the uniform, the tradition that goes with that. We're all different and we all react differently to situations. I could care less about the tattoos and haircuts. That never bothered me. And I don't care that players today make more money than I did. I just wish there was better conduct and professionalism at times. SportsonEarth

Q: How would a young Jerry West, naïve but extremely talented, cope in today's NBA with all the money and fame but also the trappings? A: The social media and the press today would be very tough for me to deal with because when I was young I was so shy and backward that I probably would've said something that would've been blown out of context. As for the other stuff, well that's where being shy and backward would've helped me. I see players walking around today with bodyguards. Maybe they need them, but I would never have a bodyguard. SportsonEarth

February 20, 2013 Updates

Here's a rundown of all the speakers/performers expected at Dr. Jerry Buss' memorial service on Thursday ... CBS2′s Jim Hill will be the emcee. The other expected speakers are: Timothy Leiweke - President and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group; Johnny Buss - Buss' oldest son; Frank Mariani - Dr. Buss’ long-time business partner); David Stern - NBA commissioner; Jerry West - former Lakers executive; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - former Lakers center; Phil Jackson - former Lakers coach; Shaquille O’Neal - former Lakers center; Pau Gasol - Lakers forward; Pat Riley - former Lakers coach; Kobe Bryant - Lakers guard; Magic Johnson - former Lakers guard. Sulia

What do you consider a bigger move personally, getting Shaq or Kobe?: Jerry West: “Trading [Vlade Divac] was difficult, and particularly when you’re trading someone of his caliber — a starting center — for a 17-year-old kid who couldn’t even sign a contract. But we were lucky because I had a great working relationship with Arn Tellem … who used to be Kobe’s agent. Arn was very instrumental in us being able to get him, way down the draft list. Charlotte got a very good player in Vlade Divac, and they played well with him, but at the end of the day we got the prize we wanted. … We got really lucky and that’s what sometimes you need.” Sports Radio Interviews

February 18, 2013 Updates

"This is an extremely sad day for me," said West. "As I have said many times, I have been blessed to work for Jerry Buss, the most successful owner in basketball history. His incredible commitment and desire to build a championship-caliber team that could sustain success over a long period of time has been unmatched." Los Angeles Times

February 5, 2013 Updates

As a consultant to the Golden State Warriors, Jerry West has no allegiance to the Los Angeles Lakers, and no interest in seeing them make the playoffs. But that doesn't mean the Lakers Hall of Fame guard and former front-office great believes his old team will fall short in its pursuit. "I believe they're going to make the playoffs," West said Tuesday in a phone interview with ESPNNewYork.com. "Look out West, there are some teams two or three games over .500, so they can do it. ... Can the Lakers win the championship? They have to get to the playoffs first, and I think they will get there." ESPN.com

"Sometimes (the Lakers) have been good, and sometimes they just don't seem to have it," West said. "Their biggest issue has been defensively. But I think they're playing better defensively now, and Kobe's play has been extraordinary, the way he's not shooting as much and getting other people involved. "Nobody is going to want to play them in the first round. With the veterans the Lakers have, I don't think it's going to make a big difference to them if they creep in as the 6, 7 or 8 [seed]. In the playoffs, they're going to be dangerous." ESPN.com

January 17, 2013 Updates
December 29, 2012 Updates

Jamaal Wilkes spoke pregame to the media - emotional from all the recognition. Spoke Lakers... "Playing for the Lakers was just great. From top to bottom they had the leadership, the organization, from Dr. Buss to Bill Sharman, Jerry West, Pat Riley and then the players," said Wilkes. "We had a real sense of pride in our team's success. Of course we had issues going on all the time, undercurrents, but we never let it get in the way of our objective, which was to be the best in the NBA and to represent the city of LA the best that we could." Sulia

December 19, 2012 Updates
December 7, 2012 Updates

Yet West, the former Lakers general manager who brought Bryant to Laker Land as a rookie in 1996 by way of the trade with the Charlotte Hornets for Vlade Divac, would consider Bryant the best Laker of all time even if he quit tomorrow. His sentiment echoed that of Johnson, the five-time champion who reiterated his stance on ESPN on Wednesday night that Bryant was the best of all the Lakers. West, who is now a consultant for the Golden State Warriors, said he viewed Abdul-Jabbar and Chamberlain differently because they didn't play their entire careers with the Lakers but he clearly sees Bryant above Johnson and himself on the Lakers' long list of greats. "What he has accomplished with this team, I don't think there's any question in my mind at this point in time - because of him being with this team for his whole career - that he has been the greatest Laker player," West - who earned 14 All-Star berths, one championship, one MVP and made nine Finals appearances - told USA TODAY Sports by phone on Thursday. "I do think he's the greatest Laker player we've ever seen." USA Today

As for the scoring record and whether Bryant will pursue it, West doesn't see him chasing the mark unless he's still playing at the highest level. "The one thing he's been able to avoid are really serious injuries," West said. "That is a factor in anyone's success…(But) he's not going to go out there and play - like a lot of guys do - past their prime, trying to chase a record. I don't think that's who he is, at the end of the day. "I just think that he's just one of those guys who loves to compete, loves to win, understands that he's been doing it for so long, at a high level, and now the team hasn't played as well as (they were expected to). Does that wear on him? I'm sure. And then having you guys ask him the question, 'How long will you play?' I think he'll play as long as he feels like he can play like he is right now, and then he will move away from it." USA Today

November 15, 2012 Updates
October 14, 2012 Updates

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