Jerry “The Logo” West is one of the greatest NBA basketball players ever, having spent his entire professional playing and coaching career with the Los Angeles Lakers. But apparently, “The-Purple-and-Gold” have no more care for West. In fact, according to his recent interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Lakers didn’t even bother to let him know they’d cancelled his lifetime ticket arrangement from their late owner Dr. Jerry Buss.
“It was a cold phone text to my wife,” West said. “No one had the nerve to call me, but that’s how petty they are, OK? And I love the Lakers, OK? I love to see them do well. It’s great for basketball. I’m proud of everything that happened when I was there. I’m proud of everything that happened when I wasn’t there—the positives.”
It’s worth noting that “The Logo” hinted at “everything that happened when I wasn’t there,” too. West a.k.a “Mr. Clutch” became the team’s general manager during the 1982-1983 season and is considered one of the chief architects of the Showtime Lakers. And although he’d leave the team in 2000, it was the moves that West made for Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant which set up the Lakers for their dominant three-peat title run right after the turn of the century.
West was then the GM for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2002 through 2007 before returning to California four years later, this time in the Bay Area. “Mr. Clutch” joined the Golden State Warriors as an executive board member in 2011, and his stewardship helped the team nab its first championship in four decades come the 2014-2015 season. The Warriors would win another chip two years later, and this would be West’s eight championship as a board member.
However, “The Logo” had always wanted to return to the Lakers to finish his career, preferably on their board, too. In 2017, West even tried to rejoin the team as a consultant, but they were having none of it. So West went across the hall to their Staples Center rivals and became an exec member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Later, audio surfaced of West calling the Lakers organization a “sh*t show” during the 2019 Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes.
Fast forward some, and Jeanie Buss (who’d become the new president and owner of the Lakers, succeeding her father) would proceed to name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Phil Jackson among the most influential Lakers players ever but snub “Mr. Clutch,” an omission that West considered “one of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard in my life.”
“But sometimes you feel like you’re discarded, like a piece of trash,” West explained to Amick. “And there’s a couple of people over there—not Jeanie—but there’s a couple of people over there that, uh… I don’t get it. I don’t… I always had a great relationship with Jeanie—at least I thought I did. I don’t know where it is now.”
So is there any hope of reconciliation? Can there be any amends made, especially when West is one of select few Lakers alum to have his own statue outside Crypto.com Arena? Probably not.
“I’m not seeking any apologies from no one—no one—ever,” West said. “I just said to myself, ‘How petty can this be?’”