Jerry West Rumors
JW: Coaches who have been players in the league, they get so attuned to playing how they were successful, and who their coaches were. Mark was a real pick-and-roll guy and very, very good at it. Steve played for two championship coaches, and I think the coach obviously he has replicated is [Gregg] Popovich. He liked his style of play, even if he had great success in Chicago. Moving the ball, moving your body, all the little things you do to get defenses to make mistakes and to try to be able to counter. I think that’s been his philosophy offensively.
What’s your role these days? JW: If there’s things that I see that I think are pertinent to how Steve wants to play, more importantly to how he wants to try to build this team to be better, I give him my opinions about players. I talk about how the way we play can dictate a lot about the players we bring in here. Obviously we like versatile players, and we have a lot of them, and I think we have almost a perfect age for our team. How do we get better? I think by finding the kind of players who will fit within the system he’s going to do and someone who’s the same size. We can defensively cover a lot of ground with bigger people and not get hurt. A bunch of smaller guys switching, you can get hurt that way.
JW: For me, I’m just ultracompetitive. I will be till they put me in the grave. That’s what drives me. Joe and I had a couple of great conversations. I felt he sincerely wanted me, that he’d allow me to be a voice within our franchise, but only a voice and an honest voice. And the only thing I care about is winning. That’s all.
Whether Bryant will retire or try to make it through one more season concerns West. “In many ways, it’s sad to see an athlete whose time is near the end of his career,” West said. “But depending on how he plays, you never know, he might play more. “He’s said he’s not going to play any more, but I think he’s so competitive, I don’t know how he would say no and goodbye to the sport.”
“All of the analytical guys that have started to play a big role in it, and frankly, I’m not a big analytical person,” West told Sirius XM on Friday. “Give me the best players, and give me a great coach, and we’ll beat these analytically-based organizations all the time.
“And I know they have their role. I know they have their place in basketball. But I see a lot of teams that follow that line, and I don’t see a lot of success there. “I’m not knocking analytical people at all. But just give me the best players, and give me the best competitors, and I will show you a team that has a great chance to win every year.”