Only one man can lay claim to being the logo of the NBA. That man is Jerry West and today, West celebrates his 76th birthday.
West is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA and his impact on the NBA, and the Lakers in particular, is still evident to this day.
West averaged 27 points and just under six rebounds and seven assists in his 14-year career with the Lakers. Along the way, he helped bring the franchise’s first NBA championship to Los Angeles in 1972 and remains the only player to win NBA Finals MVP on a losing team, which he did in 1969.
But his impact didn’t stop there. West joined the Lakers’ front office as a scout before becoming the general manager in 1982, helping to build the team that won five NBA championships in the 1980s.
West then re-built the Lakers after the ‘Showtime’ era by trading Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant and signing Shaquille O’Neal. The two would lead the Lakers to three more titles from 2000-2002.
West is one of the greatest players and greatest executives the league has ever seen, and on this day, we at Lakers Nation wish him a happy 76th birthday.
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