Jerry West Rumors
A year later and West still can’t get Bryant’s death out of his mind. “When I saw that Christmas card, the first thing said was, ‘When is the anniversary coming up?’” West said. “But the effect it had on this city, and really because of his enormous popularity, I just think it takes something out of you. You see some people who can do anything they want to and never contribute anything to society. You would think with the enormous success that he had in his life, and he was willing to give back. But he was willing to continue to grow into a different iconic person in another different field. It’s rare that an athlete can do that. LeBron James has certainly done it. And I admire those players that do it, I really admire them.”
“We have this picture of he and his family, Vanessa, and right before I left, I looked at that and I said, ‘Oh, my God.’ It’s right out there in my family room,” West said. “My wife puts it right out there so you can see it. I looked at it again. I see it almost every day that I sit down to watch something on the news or watch an NBA game. Every time I sit down, the picture is right there, right in front of me. I cannot miss it. Every day, I see that picture. And Karen is the one who put it there just as a constant reminder of how much our family cared for him. It’s just a tragedy. It’s a tragedy. There’s no explanation.”
West recalls that after the 18-time All Star named himself The Black Mamba, he asked him if he was aware of the mongoose and how they are able to easily kill the venomous snake after which he named himself. Bryant, never one to back down, answered that he is no ordinary black mamba, with West answering right back that he is no ordinary mongoose either.
Among those appearing on the special in some form will be WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol, and former Lakers GM Jerry West. Stephen A. Smith will provide some thoughts on Bryant and his legacy while Snoop Dogg has planned a musical tribute to him.
The lawsuit claims Wilkes, 58, is Robertson’s “best friend,” and that he leveraged that relationship to aid the Clippers’ pursuit of Leonard in the summer of 2019 by providing the team with information while trying to convince Robertson that the then-free agent should sign with the Clippers. Leonard denied that claim to reporters this week, saying “nobody swayed my mind to go somewhere.” In exchange, the lawsuit says, West promised to pay Wilkes $2.5 million. The lawsuit also alleges that the team later promised other inducements, including a travel expense account and house for Robertson. The Clippers issued a statement saying the lawsuit “is replete with inaccuracies and the allegations are baseless,” while West denied any “improper conduct” regarding Leonard’s signing.
Wilkes, the younger brother of former UCLA and NBA player James Wilkes, was teammates with Robertson at Dorsey before they both graduated in 1980. After that, however, they followed different career paths. While Robertson went into banking, Wilkes continued playing in college, spending his freshman year at Colorado before finishing his college career at Cal State Fullerton. He averaged about three points per game over three seasons.