HoopsHype Jerry West rumors

March 6, 2013 Updates

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
August 24, 2012 Updates

In what can only be described as a virtual "Who's Who" of NBA superstar talent, in 2005 Colangelo called a special meeting of former Olympian basketball players. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Jerry West, and Hall of Fame Coaches Dean Smith, Lenny Wilkens, and Chuck Daly, among others, gave their input. It was a superstar group therapy session. They laid bare all concerns—one of most hailed players of our time, for instance, voiced concerns about looking stupid on a global stage. At that moment, choosing the right coach became a very personal endeavor. Harvard Business Review

July 19, 2012 Updates

Once the finality settled in, the emotions overwhelmed Jerry West. He labored all season to determine whether he could clear enough cap space to acquire Shaquille O'Neal. Finally, that moment came. West compared the experience to the birth of his children. Securing O'Neal to a seven-year, $120-million deal tilted the NBA's balance in the Lakers' favor. West envisioned O'Neal bringing two things that the Lakers value -- a Hollywood personality and NBA championships. Yet West's perfectionist nature didn't allow him to fully enjoy the moment. "When the fruition of it came, I was exhausted," West told The Times in the past year. "I had to go to the hospital. I don't sleep a lot anyway and have a very inquisitive mind. When you're like that, it creates more problems for you." Los Angeles Times

Discussion of West's efforts to help the Lakers secure O'Neal is timely. It's been 16 years since Shaq's arrival in L.A., a move that prompted The Times' headline "Lakers Hit the Shaqpot." The Lakers are now in talks to acquire Dwight Howard, another Orlando Magic center nicknamed "Superman." And both circumstances show how the sausage-making process of trade negotiations can be tiring. That hardly deterred West from relentlessly pushing forward, thus setting up the Lakers to win three NBA championships. "Working with Jerry Buss, he was so encouraging in the sense of 'Let's do something big,' " West said. "We were fortunately in the position to get ourselves in the Shaquille O'Neal derby. But a lot of things had to break right. And they did." That required West to make some bold moves. Los Angeles Times

On June 26, draft day, the Lakers traded starting center Vlade Divac to Charlotte, a move that secured a player named Kobe Bryant and enough room to offer O'Neal a seven-year, $95-million offer. O'Neal recalled in his recent autobiography that he was ready to take the deal, but the Magic immediately topped the offer. That didn't deter West. He persuaded the former Vancouver Grizzlies to take Anthony Peeler and George Lynch, enabling the Lakers to offer O'Neal a deal worth $120 million. "If you're competitive and you want something, you're going to try to find a way to get it," West said. "You realize certain players can make a significant impact on your winning and losing." Los Angeles Times

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