NBA legend and inspiration behind the NBA logo, Jerry West passes away at age 86

Jerry West, a highly respected basketball legend and the inspiration for the National Basketball Association’s logo, has passed away at the age of 86, on Wednesday 12th June.

The passing of the 14-times NBA all-star was confirmed on Wednesday by the Los Angeles Clippers, where he served as an executive. He peacefully passed away with his wife Karen by his side.

According to a statement from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Jerry West was not only a basketball prodigy, but also a prominent figure in our league for over six decades.

In his 14 years of playing, he was not only a champion in the NBA and selected as an all-star, but he also stood out as a fierce competitor who welcomed the most significant opportunities.

He became the first Finals MVP in the league and his ability to excel in crucial moments earned him the moniker ‘Mr. Clutch’. This trait became his defining quality.

West, a shooting guard, guided the Los Angeles Lakers to nine appearances in the NBA Finals, but only once did he lift the coveted championship trophy.

Despite being a member of the losing team, he stands as the sole recipient of the Most Valuable Player title in the championship series, which he earned in 1969.

Chosen as the second overall selection in the 1960 NBA draft by the Minneapolis Lakers, who later moved to Los Angeles, West achieved the milestone of being the third player to score 25,000 points. He retired in 1974, holding the titles for most post-season points scored in a career and the highest average in a single playoff series.

In 1960, West served as co-captain for the U.S. men’s basketball team, which successfully secured the Olympic gold medal.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was bestowed upon West in 2019 by the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

The skilled West was officially recognized as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 for his accomplishments as a player. Additionally, he will receive further recognition this year for his contributions to the sport when he is inducted as a contributor.

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The Basketball Hall of Fame stated that his character and integrity are only matched by his impact on the game of basketball, both as a player and an executive.

West, also known as “The Logo”, transitioned into a successful executive role in the NBA after his time as a player.

In his role as the Lakers’ General Manager and Executive Vice President, he successfully constructed six championship teams. His keen ability to spot talent was evident in his decision to draft Magic Johnson and later acquire Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

He also worked in the front office for the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors, where he earned two additional championships. He also had two stints with the Clippers and was named the NBA’s executive of the year twice.

The announcement of West’s passing led to a flood of accolades on social media from both supporters and notable figures in the gaming community.

“My dear friend, I will deeply miss our conversations. I send my thoughts and prayers to your amazing family. Jerry, you will always hold a special place in my heart. Rest in peace, my friend,” wrote LeBron James of the Lakers, who holds the record for most points scored in the NBA, on X.

Michael Jordan expressed his sympathies by releasing a heartfelt statement via ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith.

Jordan expressed his profound sorrow upon hearing about Jerry’s death, stating that he was not only a dear friend but also a guiding figure in his life, much like an elder brother.

I treasured his companionship and expertise.

I have always desired to have a chance to compete against him, but as I got to know him better, I regret not having the opportunity to be on his team.

Logo will always be remembered with fondness. I offer my heartfelt sympathies to Karen, his wife, and their sons. May Logo rest in eternal peace.

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