Jerry West Rumors
We talked about Lacob and Guber officially taking over the franchise exactly five years ago today and West described what he saw especially in Lacob when they first talked about hiring him soon after. I asked West to compare Lacob to the great owner he worked under with the Lakers, Jerry Buss, and West noted that they got similar results but were almost exact opposite personalities.
Magic Johnson, Jerry West says, was the superstar who had the strongest opinions about who he wanted on the team, and while West heard him out, he didn’t always heed Magic’s advice. “He liked his friends, and we didn’t like them as much as he did sometimes,” West says.
Rome asked West whether Warriors fans were the same, different, or “frankly better” than the notoriously huge Lakers fan base, and West did not hesitate in the slightest to confirm that the Roaracle blows Staples away. “Oh, much better than LA fans, OK? They don’t ever leave the game,” West said. “Once we moved into Staples Center, our fan base changed, I thought. It’s a completely different kind of fan than Los Angeles. Los Angeles has a lot of corporate fans there, whole different people sat in different seats. You can go up to Oracle right now and you’ll see the same fans in the same seats every night. The fans in Los Angeles are great, but I’ve never seen fans like this here.”
Q: If you weren’t the NBA logo, who would be? Jerry West: “Well, I think the greatest player I’ve ever seen… and I hate to say it’s not a Laker but, Michael Jordan. He’s been the greatest player I’ve ever seen. And I’m probably a harsh judge of talent in the sense that I admire players that are really good defensive players and really good offensive players. And I felt that at his time in the game he was the best defensive player in the game, but more importantly he was the best offensive player. And he made his teams win.”
JW: You talked about rumors earlier, I’ve heard this stuff with Mark Jackson and me. Mark Jackson is a friend of mine. I’ve known him a long time, OK. And Mark will grow from being here as a coach. He will get an opportunity somewhere else. He’ll probably be a better coach going forward.