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NBA legend Jerry West passes away at 86

The world lost a great sportsman today as Jerry West passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 86 years old, the NBA has confirmed.

Jerry West is a name no die-hard basketball afficionado doesn’t know. The NBA’s logo is modelled after him. He’s one of the most iconic Lakers, arguably the basketball league’s best-known franchise. He achieved success not only as a player but also as an executive for multiple teams, displaying a remarkable streak of consistent greatness that the NBA Hall of Fame had to induct him thrice.

Photo: NBA / Los Angeles Lakers

Here are some of West’s accomplishments: he was the third man to reach 25,000 points in NBA history; he made the NBA Finals nine times, winning a championship in 1972, and being the only player ever to win Finals MVP from the losing team in 1969; he’s part of the NBA’s 75 Greatest Players list; and he crafted title-winning teams such as the Showtime Lakers, Shaq-Kobe Lakers, and Steph-Klay-Draymond-KD Warriors.

“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.”

Michael Jordan, often regarded to as the Greatest of All Time, had this to say about West:

“I valued his friendship and knowledge. I always wished I could have played against him as a competitor, but the more I came to know him, I wish I had been his teammate. I admired his basketball insights and he and I shared many similarities to how we approached the game.”

West earned the reputation as Mr. Clutch as an NBA superstar in a career where he averaged 27 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.7 assists a contest. He was one of the best defenders of his time. He won a gold medal with the US Olympic Team in 1960. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019. Those are just the tip of the iceberg in detailing what he’s accomplished as an NBA lifer.

He will be missed.

Photo from: Lakers

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