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Jeanie Buss: Jerry West statue will feature him as a player

53759138On hearing the news that the Lakers would unveil a statue of former star Jerry West outside Staples Center during NBA All-Star weekend, a conundrum popped into Kobe Bryant's mind.

"You have to try to decide on what statue to put up there, him as a player or him as an exec; that goes to show what he's done for this organization," Bryant said.

In a wide-ranging interview to promote her book, "Laker Girl," Jeanie Buss,the team's executive vice president, told The Times that the statue will feature West as a player.

"Can you think of anybody that deserves a statue more than him?" Buss said of West, who earned the name "Mr. Clutch" during his playing career with the Lakers from 1960 to 1974, led the team to an NBA championship in 1972, became a 14-time All-Star and 10-time All-NBA team member and won the 1969 Finals MVP, though the Lakers lost that series to the Celtics. He also retired as the Lakers' all-time leading scorer, with 25,192 points, before Bryant eclipsed that mark last season.

Bryant's statement, however, points out how West's standing with the Lakers goes beyond his accomplishments as a player. He worked in the front office, including head coaching and scouting positions, before becoming the team's general manager in the 1982-1983 season. That led to seven championships, an NBA executive of the year honor in 1995 and the effort to bring in Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, two integral pieces that ultimately resulted in a Lakers three-peat from 1999 to 2002.

The West monument will be the Lakers statue outside Staples Center, after those honoring Magic Johnson and Chick Hearn. Staples Center also features statues depicting hockey player Wayne Gretzky and boxer Oscar De La Hoya. Johnson's statue was dedicated during the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles in 2004, while Hearn's statue was unveiled last season.

"We thought maybe it was time to unveil another All-Star," Buss said. "Jerry West was perfect. It's going to be great. I'm going to look forward to that day."

In Buss' book, she mentioned that it was her "dream" to commission another statue for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, but that she was conflicted over whether it should depict West or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won five of his NBA championships with the Lakers and remains the NBA's all-time leading scorer (38,387) "It's a tough choice," she wrote.

The Times' Bill Plaschke also reported Friday that, based on conversations with members of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns Staples Center and L.A. Live, "it seems apparent" that Abdul-Jabbar and Kings player Luc Robitaille would be the next players to have statues outside Staples Center. Although Buss said there aren't any definitive plans for a statue unveiling featuring Abdul-Jabbar, she expressed confidence that would eventually happen.

"I would have to think so," Buss said. "I would have to think he'd be the natural fit. But there's so many great Lakers. But certainly Kareem stands among some of the greatest of all time."

Buss also remained open to the idea, expressed by some in this forum, that the Lakers should eventually construct a Lakers Hall of Fame building.

"Those are some great ideas, and we've talked internally about having a place," Buss said. "Although I love having the trophies here, it would be great [that] the fans could go visit them in person. We talk a lot about stuff like that, but no definite plans. Maybe someday we'll have a Lakerland."

But for now, the Lakers' sole focus on a statue unveiling involves West's.

"I want people to also remember how instrumental Jerry was in the building of Staples Center," Buss said. "He was part of that process, and he had a lot of input into that building. It really is the perfect place for a statue of him."

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Jerry West Credit: NBA

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*I* am going to go get some
nachos. Want some?

Posted by: hobbitmage | November 12, 2010 at 06:35 AM

what's the dip?

When can we expect a Kareem statue? Just cuz he was a little socially awkward, doesn't exactly change the fact that he's one of the top-5 all-time.

Some might argue that he may even deserve to be out there before Jerry West (as a player, of course).

Perhaps they can make-way for Michael Coopers jersey to hang in the rafters that same weekend?

We may be conflicted as to how The Logo should be depicted, but I'm sure we're ALL in agreement as to how a Cap statue should look - and I don't even need to say it... but I will because I just know Red's illegitimate kid and 35-yr-old-average will answer in some smirky way - shooting his trademark sky-hook (over Parrish of course)!


“For myself, 44 minutes is too much,” James declared. “I think Coach Spo knows that."

same thing from the Lakers "wanna-be" MVP, Porous Gassy–but both of them have no complaints when having triple-doubles. just when they have "other" responsibilities, like helping the TEAM to win. regardless of the # of TOUCHES.

Although the Logo is often shown dribbling, to me his trademark is that frozen-rope jump-shot. That's the pose, as it was unstoppable. He'd rise up with the quick release, and boom! And we know his rang was good from the rim, all the way out to... 63 feet.

ouchhhhhhhh - not going to get into it all, but as far as minutes, I've been sayin' it before... "back in the day." Since we're talkin' the Logo right now, he AVERAGED 39.2 minutes PER game for his CAREER. In the playoffs (where he took it up a notch), his minutes rose to 41.3. You'd think with all the better medicine, training regimens, etc., that today's player wouldn't have that much problem. And don't get me started on Wilt's 48.5 minutes per game for a season, 45.8 for his career. Some people better start doing a little more aerobic exercise in the off-season if you ask me.

No soup! No whining!

Damn, that uniform Jerry West is wearing is brutal. Not only are those short shorts, they're pulled up Steve Urkel style.

Go Lakers!

Although the Logo is often shown dribbling, to me his trademark is that frozen-rope jump-shot. That's the pose, as it was unstoppable. He'd rise up with the quick release, and boom! And we know his rang was good from the rim, all the way out to... 63 feet.

Posted by: 63 Footer | November 12, 2010 at 02:10 PM
Perfect! I still laugh when I hear Bill Russell calling Jerry's game winner jumper in the 72 all-star game. Russ called 2pts as soon as Jerry let it go. He had seen it up close so many times he knew it was money. Check it out on YouTube. It's a perfect example of Mr. Clutch.

@Cyber - it's all good. The perplexed look on DWade, Lebron & Spoelstra faces = priceless

“For myself, 44 minutes is too much,” James declared. “I think Coach Spo knows that."

Posted by: ouchhhhhhhh | November 12, 2010 at 02:07 PM
How old is Lebron again!

LRob - "How old is Lebron again!"

You have to count Lebron's in dog's years though.

My first visit to the Fabulous Forum? Jerry West Night, march 1971 vs. Suns.
He was out rehabbing his knee, but it was a nite I will always remember.

I hope the Jerry West statue depicts him in the same stance that the logo shows. It would be a shame if it is anything else. He deserves a statue as both a player and as an executive. The first thing should be a real bigger than life "LOGO" statue to honor this great Laker while he can still enjoy it. That's what people want to see and revere with any visit to the Staples Center.

Lone star laker fan - cool!

Damn, that uniform Jerry West is wearing is brutal. Not only are those short shorts, they're pulled up Steve Urkel style.
Posted by: Rocky | November 12, 2010 at 02:22 PM
Jerry wore those sweet powder blue unis also. I got one of those throwbacks. It's always good for a few "I didn't know they wore that color" when I wear it to the gym.

LRob - you are hard core man.

LRob - I bought one of the Minny blue throwback warm up shirts for hubby a few years back. It's since been signed by AC Green....

Jabbar: I agree

Robitaille: no


The formula for defeating the Bynumless Lakers is no longer a secret: attack the paint and rim with dribble penetration to get easy layups and dunks, intimidate Pau Gasol with overly physical defense to force weak shots and turnovers, and turn Kobe Bryant into a low percentage high volume shooter.

While I do not believe that Phil Jackson deliberately refused to call a time out during the Nuggets big run last night so that the Lakers would lose the game, I suspect that he likely views the loss as a good learning experience for a team that had grown too cocky and was not playing up to its potential defensively.

And while the 82-0 bandwagon has disappeared in a mile high cloud of dust, the 81-1 bandwagon is ready to go to remind freaked out Lakers fanatics that it’s a long season filled with unrealized potential and a loss here and there, no matter how disappointing, means nothing in the context of an 82-game season.

Isn’t it interesting how all the prognosticators who coronated the Heat to be a championship team are suddenly starting to regurgitate the same criticisms and observations that we had been listing all summer long on the blog about their lack of a strong point guard and poor interior defense and 3-point shooting.

Steve Kerr said it best last night during the Celtics/Heat game when he remarked how the pieces on the Lakers and Celtics all seem to fit perfectly whereas the Miami Heat are starting to look more and more like a fantasy basketball team with glaring weaknesses rather than potential 7-time NBA champions.

Based on his posted reactions during the first 9 games of the season, you have to wonder if ouchhhhhhhh can keep it together for the entire 82-game season plus playoffs. Talk about a guy with identity problems, you have to wonder in what medium does our self-proclaimed “artist” work because it’s not literature.


I was wondering... will the Clippers put up Elg-the-executive statue on their side of Staples. Oh, wait, they haven't even finished paying Elg, so they're probably too cheap to opt for a statue. Maybe they'll put up an Elgin Baylor bobblehead.

After the Lakers win #17 this season, I don't mind unveiling a statue of Jerry Buss (as an owner) outside Staples Center on next season's opening night.

LakerPeace - Should the Jerry Buss status have him surrounded by a bevy of buxom 20-something beauties?

htj - forget getting my picture next to the Logo statue - I wanna have it taken next to the bevy of buxom 20-something statues. Yeah, baby!

I dont mind that either....

HEY. 63 - why are you so quick to dump me? How do you know I"M not a buxom beauty. You're really starting to irritate me 63.... :)

Byron Scott is doing fine job with Cleveland so far..Wouldn't it be something if the Cavaliers and the Heat meet in the playoff this season? It's going to be nasty series.

Put me on the bandwagon to demolish all player Statues except Magic's and the Solid Gold One for Kobe(Bean)Bryant!!

@CCX... “Don't say LakerTom and I didn't tell ya all what would happen to the meat, don't say we didn't illustrate they have more holes in their lineup than swiss cheese...”

It’s ironic how just a few games has stripped the fantasy from the reality that is the Miami Heat. Miami fans are now starting to dog Chris Bosh for being weak and soft in the paint and a guy who is point blank more comfortable tossing up 15-foot jumpers rather than attacking the rim on offense and protecting it on defense. His matador defense when players attack the paint is almost laughable. You can almost see the second though bubbles over the Super Friends heads as they hangdog it the bench after the final whistle.

Like the formula for defending the Bynumless Lakers, the formula for defending the Miami Heat is no longer a secret: On defense, sag back and clog the lane in the half court to prevent penetration and get back on defense when the Heat get the ball to prevent easy points in transition. And don’t worry so much about three-point shooting since neither LeBron or Wade shoot a reliably high percentage from there. On offense, attack the paint for easy layups and dunks and pound the glass for easy rebounds and putbacks.


justa - I was dumpin' the Logo, NEVER you! I have my priorities straight.

"Jeanie Buss: Jerry West statue will feature him as a player"

sounds like a redundant headline: statues are always images of power: was LOGO a power as a player or as a GM

good question, except the GM will establish a precedent opening the field or the public space for Fish as a politician and also Gassy as a foreign ambassador of the game.

now Jery West's STATUE, as a LOGO,t will make it even more difficult more open for interpretation but will create a great visual display because will have:

Fisher as a fried fish in a newpaper with the 0.4 headline- the patina will give the fish a cruchy feel. and some chips for his "intangibles".

Gassy will be featured by a mechanical contraption connected to a pump–just a balloon that is constantly blown up and fizzles. but will fly freely and smooth as his shot, greeting the fans that are going to the game and expending the vertical dimensions of the displays.

and last but not least:

Luke as a CLIPBOARD – and this can become an utilitarian piece: like on other cups and trophies, on the clipboard we can etch/engrave every new championship that the Lakers are winning.

ouchhhhhhhh - I've been writing all day on a novel, and I'm running out of gas... you've GOT to tell me what you're on; I gotta get some stat!

LRob - you are hard core man.
Posted by: 63 Footer | November 12, 2010 at 03:17 PM
I have to rep harder since I'm not in

LRob - I bought one of the Minny blue throwback warm up shirts for hubby a few years back. It's since been signed by AC Green....
Posted by: justanothermambafan | November 12, 2010 at 03:17 PM
--------------------- wonder hubby knows you're a keeper.

I was with all of you on the Heat, but I convinced myself it was just wishful thinking. These guys have to be better than a middling team, don't they? I mean the kraptics pulled it off with their big 2-3-4 combo and jetsam flotsam all around them, why would the meat be any worse? But they are. 1 word -Chemistry. They ain't got it. They better find it soon, or that nice fella holding the clipboard on their bench that no one's ever heard of will be out of a job come Christmas.

Check it out spread the word gold and purple!!!

htj - I think the Heat are going to get better as the season goes on, gobbling up lesser teams with sheer bravado and athleticism, but will fall short often against fully functioning teams, and I can see that being a mental problem as much as a match-up/physical one.

The Lakers fully believe (and rightfully so) that they lost last night's game with lapses in game, lapses in focus, lapses in energy, and just sheer suckitude. But they know they can beat the Nuggets when push comes to shove (or the playoffs).

The Heat may start to feel they CAN'T actually beat a real team if this continues, and when the playoffs swing around might have a real mental inferiority problem. Sure they'll score and look flashy, but will they KNOW they can win against a real team? Not sure.

LBJ shoulda know after watching his 2 favorite teams implode that money alone wont win a Title.

Im still celebrating the Ranger beatdown of the Yankees with a payroll of 25% of the Yankees. LMAO! Love watching the Yankees lose. Now theyll give a 32 yr old soft tossing lefty 100 million and another leak will pop up somewhere else. LOL

@63 Footer....

After reading all the comments concerning potential Laker statues outside of Staples, I think yours was the only one that mentioned Elgin Baylor. Elgin put the Lakers on everyone's radar back in the day and he revolutionized the way basketball was played. He's the predecessor of all the high flyers such as Jordan and Dr. J. Perhaps because of his association with the Clippers, it seems to me that Mr. Baylor never gets his proper recognition as a great Laker. Elgin deserves a statue too.

My disappointment over the Laker loss last night was not so much that they lost, but who they lost to. There are certain teams that I love for the Lakers to beat and Denver is one of them. I love for the Lakers to keep them down.

Anyway, my minor remorse over the defeat was soothed by the arrival of my copy of "Journey to the Ring". It is a beautifully done work that I would recommend to all the Lakerholics on this blog. Reminded me that the "Journey" is a long one and is not about a regular season game in November. It's about 16 victories in the Spring!

bronxlakerfan - you are absolutely correct on Elgin. I only caught the tail end of his career (with both knees shot), but I've seen a lot of footage - man was a freak of nature. We all think of Wilt, but Elg was right there in scoring, and at only 6'5".

I haven't gotten my "Journey" yet, but I'm waiting to pick one up. Definitely soothes the savage loss.

How about a statue of Jerry West hiding in the dugout and could not watch the game? That's the true Laker fan, can't stand losing and would rather hide than watch an anomaly!

Perspective from the game last night, well we all know that it is very unrealistic to expect 82-0, only lakerholics would say so. I would not chastise Ouchhhhhh for being the devil in the blog, his literature maybe limited but his foresight is just right. He has the right to ask some perplexing questions. Knowing Zen approach of the season, he has to test the waters both on the opponents and his own team and pushed them to the limit. It is like playing chess, you sacrifice the rook to gain positional advantage. What are the positional advantages from that loss? 1) Bynum, your prolonged rest is over, got to come back and helped the D on the post; 2) Kobe, you're not well enough to take over the game; 3) Pau, you're lacking in some elements. If you were a gymnast, your fundamentals on D leave a lot to be desired; 3) DFish, you are our hero but had to admit that Father Time is catching up with you, you can't chase young PG's, about two steps slower. Even the best b'ball players could fight aging; 4) Artest, your weight has gone down so with your power in the post; 5) Lamar, Lamar where were u when we needed you. We already proclaimed that you're Jr. Magic & Jr. Scottie combined. Last night was a disappearing act, Lamar holdign the OFF switch; 6) Shannon, you're the shinning star but there is still something lacking in the clutch or in the closing minutes. don't change horses on the midstream. Attach forcefully and relentlessly until the buzzer. Finally, the newcomers Barnes, Blake, Ratliff, Caracter, you're now Lakers after tasting the Phil Jackson gelato, want some more. I just enumerated the messages to the team. How about PJ message to the league? Nets, Knicks, Cavs, Heat - you need to discuss Melo because he is goooood. Isn't it great if Melo moves to the East, then one less headache in the WCF? How about his message to Nugget fans? Your team is good especially in mile high city, so don't abandon ship is Melo moves to another team. How to lakerholics in the blog? Come back to earth and enjoy the game, don't expect too much in Nov. after giving you back2back titles.

Therefore, 81-1 is a ridiculous pressure to the team. Chinese say journey to thousand miles start with first step. Today, they say products made in China are better because they're cheaper. What is an achievable goal? Win on Sunday against the Suns. Take it one at a time till u get to 34 -0 and broke one record or undefeated at Staples 42-0. Don't expect, just dream.

Here is the dream of Mr. Walt Disney: "Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."

Sorry, I found plenty of errors in the previous post, just fill in the right words. I'm careless, poor eyesight and always in a hurry to chase MM's limited life of a thread.

LakerTom: "You can almost see the second thought bubbles over the Super Friends heads as they hangdog it the bench after the final whistle"
lol, I have been thinking that a lot when I watch their games, especially for princess jimmy. He looked so unhappy at the beginning of training camp, really looking like going to the meat was a big mistake. It still shows in the lack of chemistry that they display. Especially between princess jimmy and the other 1½ of them, when they are on the bench, it's jimmy eating the stubs of his nails, Bosh Spice and Wade just looking at the game and not talking.

I can remember when the Lakers got Pau, Kobe embraced him from the start, they had terrific chemistry from day-one. And not forced, 'you take it and I'll watch this possession, then we can switch roles' type of chemistry, but truly complimentary in their games, styles and personalities.

The article I just read before coming here made a couple of familiar points:

"Boston's Big Three won right away because the three players involved - Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett - have the kind of games that compliment one another... You have to have the kind of talent that can play with, and off, one another.
The Celtics have it.
The Heat don't."


"You have three players who have all been the face of a franchise, but only one has already won an NBA title.
Dwyane Wade, without question, should be your leader.
And yet it's obvious that the Heat are not going in that direction.
Instead, this is slowly becoming LeBron James' team.
He's the league's reigning MVP each of the past two seasons, and with that comes a certain amount of respect.
But keep in mind, that award is based on what you do in the regular season which is when James is at his best.
Last I checked, this season for the Heat was all about winning a championship - something Wade has done.
No one questions that, pound for pound, James is the best player on the Heat roster.
But that doesn't necessarily make him their best leader, which is essentially a role we're starting to see him have with this team.
Dwyane Wade has won an NBA title, but in his effort to blend his talents in with the James and Bosh, he's doing too much deferring and not enough dominating.
If the Heat continue down this path, they'll be nothing more than the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the 15 inches of snow in December."

Gee, it would be nice if they'd acknowledge the source for their material - at least it's nice to see that journalists read the blog and take notes...

I'm just glad that every passing day means the cavalry is one day closer to arriving for the Lakers. I think the Denver game illustrated just how much we are missing our starting center and the dominating post presence that comes with him...


BTW, here's the article I quoted from:


How Abdul-Jabbar should be depicted on his statue?

No comment...the guy is currently battling cancer.
Damn, not even KG will go there!

Thank you Jeanie, Jerry West as a it should be. Kareem will be it should be, anything else is a crime against all that is Laker's!

What was with that line up PJ had in last night in the last 5 or 6 minutes...trying to match their smalls, that loss was on our coach & not on the players IMHO! But PJ likes do do strange stuff during the course of the season, so it's hard to argue with his record. There is a method to his madness for sure...the Zen Master! 8-1 it is baby

Yeah, Jeanie - Jerry sure deserves a statue. Too bad your boyfriend is one of the reasons he couldn't stand to be there anymore. Much too classy to endure the b.s.

Ouch Stacy...tell us more, this sounds like it could be good!



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