Throughout their illustrious history, the Los Angeles Lakers have had a number of stars wear their uniform, but Jerry West is certainly one of the most revered. West won a championship with the Lakers in 1972 and also acted as the team’s general manager, during which time he helped usher in both the Showtime and Shaq/Kobe eras. It was West who was determined to draft Kobe Bryant after seeing him workout one-on-one against former defensive ace Michael Cooper, and he was also the one who was able to pry Shaquille O’Neal away from the Orlando Magic in 1996.
West parted ways with the Lakers in the early 2000’s and turned the team over to his protege, Mitch Kupchak. After spending several successful seasons as the GM of the Memphis Grizzlies, West eventually made his way to the Golden State Warriors as an executive advisor, and given the team’s rampant success, it’s no surprise that the club and West are rumored to be exploring a contract extension, per Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News:
On another topic: NBA sources indicate that Warriors and Jerry West have had preliminary talks about extending his deal past this summer…
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) March 23, 2017
For the Warriors, West was an integral voice that advocated drafting sharpshooter Klay Thompson and also helped make the decision to not trade him for Kevin Love. More recently, West was part of the recruiting effort that brought superstar Kevin Durant to Golden State.
With a stellar reputation, Lakers fans have long hoped that the day would come when West would return to Los Angeles, but it appears that such a move just may not be in the cards. At 78 years old, West is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of a team, but he can clearly still make a positive impact for the Warriors franchise.