The cross-town rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers could soon get even more interesting, as the Clippers are looking to poach one of the most iconic players to ever don the purple and gold, Jerry West. It would be a bold move for the Clippers, who are heading into an important offseason in which both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin could leave in free agency.
West, who recently turned 79, has acted as an advisor for the Golden State Warriors since 2011, assisting them in the decision-making process and playing a role in assembling the dominant team that is about to play in their third NBA Finals in as many years. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Clippers want to offer a similar role to West:
League sources told ESPN that the Clippers would like to bring West into their organization in an advisory capacity similar to the role he has held with the Warriors since May 2011.
Other undisclosed teams, sources said, have made similar runs at West, who is under contract with Golden State through July as a member of its executive board and has been asked by Warriors owner Joe Lacob to stay with the franchise.
Lacob told the San Jose Mercury News earlier this month that — even though contract talks with West have been postponed until after the looming NBA Finals — he is determined not to lose him.
West had been rumored to be interested in joining the Lakers, the team that he played for, coached, and was the long-time general manager of, but the arrival of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka appears to have ended that possibility.
Should West take the Clippers up on their offer it would certainly be a strange sight for Lakers fans. The logo would finally be back in Los Angeles, but as any Lakers fan can attest to, doing so with the Clippers just isn’t the same.