NBA

NBA legend Jerry West dies at 86

The Hall of Famer won one championship as a player and eight as an executive

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

NBA legend Jerry West died Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Clippers announced. He was 86 years old.

"Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86," the Clippers wrote. "His wife, Karen, was by his side."

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Nicknamed "Mr. Clutch," West has been selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame three times. He was enshrined as a player in 1980 and as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in 2010. He will be inducted for a third time as a contributor later this year.

West is ingrained in the NBA to this day, as his silhouette is considered the inspiration for the league's logo.

His resume as a player includes 14 NBA All-Star selections, 12 All-NBA selections, five NBA All-Defensive selections, a 1972 NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA Finals MVP on the losing side in 1969, nine Finals appearances and the 1960 Olympic gold medal.

As an executive, West brought "Showtime" to L.A. He coached the Lakers from 1976-79 and was the general manager for six Lakers championships from 1980 to 2000 with stars including Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

After spending several years with the Memphis Grizzlies, West joined the Golden State Warriors' front office in 2011 and helped guide the team to NBA titles in 2015 and 2017.

West had been an executive board member and consultant for the Clippers since 2017.

"Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments. He was the league's first Finals MVP and made rising to the occasion his signature quality, earning him the nickname 'Mr. Clutch.'

"Jerry's four decades with the Lakers also included a successful stint as a head coach and a remarkable run in the front office that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest executives in sports history. He helped build eight championship teams during his tenure in the NBA -- a legacy achievement that mirrors his on-court excellence. And he will be enshrined this October into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor, becoming the first person ever inducted as both a player and a contributor.

"I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life. On behalf of the NBA, we send our deepest condolences to Jerry's wife, Karen, his family and his many friends in the NBA community."

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