NBA Legend Jerry West Dead

The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
American Liberty News
- July 15, 2024
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, a progressive host and former press secretary for President Joe Biden, voiced deep concerns this weekend about the climate of fear and violence, supposedly towards journalists, following the near assassination of former President .

During an appearance on ' “” with , Psaki addressed the tension and the possibility of violence in the wake of the assassination attempt. She emphasized that attributing the attack to Democrats and the media only heightens fears and escalates the risk.

A player, executive and ambassador of the game of has shuffled off this mortal coil.

Jerry West, often referred to as “Mr. Clutch,” passed away Wednesday morning. The prolific scorer and Hall of Fame guard for the Lakers was a towering figure in the league's formative years. To future generations, his silhouette literally became the logo for the .

As The New York Times reports:

The Los Angeles Clippers announced his death but provided no other details. West was a consultant with the team in recent years.

For four decades, first as a player and later as a scout, a coach and an executive, West played a formidable role in the evolution of the N.B.A. in general and the Lakers in particular, beginning in 1960 when the team moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles and he was its first draft choice.

He won championships with several generations of Laker teams and Laker stars and was an all-star in each of his 14 seasons, but except for his longtime teammate, the great forward Elgin Baylor, who retired without a championship, there may have never been a greater player who suffered the persistent close-but-no-cigar frustration that followed West for the bulk of his career on the court.

Fitzgerald Whitney, Los Angeles Times, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

It wasn't until the Lakers acquired Wilt Chamberlain that they, and West, found the winning formula for a championship.

The 1971-72 Lakers won 69 games, a record at the time — the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won 72 and the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors won 73 — including a still unequaled streak of 33 in a row. When they avenged their loss to the Knicks, winning the 1972 championship, West spoke after the last game with a colossal sense of relief, recalling that his thirst for the ultimate victory began before he entered the pros. In 1958, his junior year at West Virginia University, his team made it to the national finals against , only to lose by a single point.

“The last time I won a championship was in the 12th grade,” a relieved West said after clinching his first title in five games over the Knicks.

“This is a fantastic feeling. This is one summer I'm really going to enjoy.”

As the general manager of the Lakers in the 1980s, he led the team to multiple championships with players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy. In 2000, in his role as executive vice-president, he brought Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal to Los Angeles, setting the stage for another dynasty.

West's contributions to the game cemented his legacy as one of the most important figures in the history of professional basketball, destined to be remembered alongside Bill Russell, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

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