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Jerry West Left The Lakers To Become Grizzlies’ General Manager: “I Want To Help Make A Difference”

Jerry West Left The Lakers To Become Grizzlies’ General Manager: “I Want To Help Make A Difference”

Jerry West is one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Finding his greatest success with the Lakers, West won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 1972. But his impact on the game spans longer than that title. 

West is the only player in NBA history to win Finals MVP despite losing in the NBA Finals, doing so in 1969 as he and the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics.

On top of that, West is one of the most recognizable figures in the NBA, despite most people not realizing that it is him. West's silhouette serves as the logo for the NBA and has done so for the longest time now. 

After his playing career, West found success as an executive in the NBA. In 1982, West became the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers. He was pivotal to their success in the 90s and 2000s. 

West made the crucial trade to bring Kobe Bryant to the Lakers ahead of the 1996 NBA Draft. On top of that, he also helped the Lakers sign Shaquille O'Neal in the same year.

The moves by West helped the Lakers win 5 NBA championships between 2000 and 2010. But in 2002, West walked away from the Lakers to take the same role for the Memphis Grizzlies. 

West explained in his press conference that he wanted to help bring a team to championship success that had not experienced that prior to his arrival. So he wanted to build a new project to help bring joy to a new franchise and fanbase.

"I've always wondered how it would be to build a winning franchise that has not experienced much success. I want to help make a difference."

Despite his best intentions, West was unable to bring championship success to the Grizzlies. He did make them a solid team, before leaving to join the Golden State Warriors. There he helped build a team that would win three NBA championships. 

He now works for the LA Clippers, where he was instrumental in the acquiring of Kawhi Leonard and George Paul, making the Clippers a solid contender in the NBA, and bringing them to their first Western Conference Finals in franchise history.