NBA Legend Jerry West Passes Away At 86

Jerry West, the legendary basketball player, executive, and inspiration for the NBA logo, has passed away at the age of 86 years old.

When thinking about all of the legends throughout basketball history, there may be no one more impactful than West, who was a three-time Hall of Fame selection, and won nine championships as a player, scout, coach, executive and consultant.

West, who was also referred to as "Zeke from Cabin Creek," played for the West Virginia Mountaineers, before being selected by the Minneapolis Lakers with the second overall pick in the 1960 NBA Draft. West went on to have a 14-year storied career, and notably earned All-Star honors every season in which he played.

He led the Lakers to nine NBA Finals appearances as a player, was named Finals MVP in 1969 and won a championship in 1972. Furthermore, West was a 10x All-NBA First Team selection (1962-1967; 1970-1973), 4x NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, a scoring champ (1970), and assists leader (1972).

One of the most memorable moments in NBA history happened on April 29, 1970, when West hit a 60-foot buzzer beater in Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals, which earned him the nicknames of "Mr. Clutch," "Mr. Outside."

To point out, although the shot was from beyond half court, it only counted as two points back in that day, so this made the game tied, and the Lakers went on to win in overtime 111-108 over the New York Knicks.

When he retired as a player (1961-1974), West's name was all over the record books, as he was third all-time in points (25,192), fourth in points per game (27.0 ppg), second in made free throws (7,160), and fifth in assists (6,238).

Ultimately, West's impact went way beyond the court, just a few years after he was done playing, he became a coach for the Lakers for three seasons (145-101 record).

After being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 (also in 2010 as a gold medalist on the 1960 Team USA squad), West then became a general manager with the Lakers; he was named a two-time Executive of the Year, first in 1995, and then in 2004 working for the Grizzlies.

That is to say, he won seven championships as an executive, including six championships with the Lakers (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000). With this in mind, many credit West with being the mastermind builder of the Lakers dynasties, as he is recognized for being the architect behind both the 1980's "Showtime Lakers" and also the Lakers "three-peat" (2000-2002), since he drafted Kobe Bryant and signed Shaquille O'Neal.

Not to mention, West also had an executive role with the Golden State Warriors, in which he set up the team to win win three titles in a four-year span (2015, 2017, 2018). Then West ended his career working as a consultant for the Los Angeles Clippers during the past seven years.

Being regarded as not only one of the greatest on the court but also in the front office, it is only right that West is the silhouette of the NBA logo itself, which will always be a reminder of his legacy and contribution to the game of basketball.