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Jerry West continuing work with Northern Trust Open

Hitting the links used to be Jerry West's escape, a worthy outlet to unleash his competitive drive without the surrounding attention that accompanied the Lakers star.

Now it's his way of providing thanks for all that adulation, using his role as executive director of the Northern Trust Open for the second consecutive year to help donate to causes dear to him. The tournament, which begins Thursday at Riviera Country Club, raised $1.5 million for 65 L.A. charities last year, and will continue allowing military personnel and their families to attend the event for free, an initiative dear to West's heart. After all, he still feels the anguish over his brother, David, dying in the Korean War.

It's part of an event-filled week for West, whose statue will be unveiled Thursday at Staples Center for his contributions as the Lakers' second all-time leading scorer, bringing the organization its first championship in 1972 and assembling enough talent to secure seven NBA championships as the Lakers' general manager. And for all the accolades he's received this past year, including induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, West wants to return the favor. Through the Tickets for Charity program, the Northern Trust Open will donate 80% of the proceeds to the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce and 20% to other local charities.

"The city has been awfully good to me," West said of his role with the Northern Trust Open, tickets for which will cost $30 a day and $80 for the week. "I've always felt at a certain age in your life, your life has to change. Mine has changed. I'm in a different place in my life."

That entails becoming consumed with a tournament he hopes to return to higher relevancy on the PGA tour. That effort included endless meetings with business leaders and golfers to spark interest in the tournament, resulting in 38 of the 50 top money-winners participating in last year's Northern Trust Open, including two-time defending champion Phil Mickelson. He will return to the field again, representing 21 of the 30 top money-winners giving it a go this year.

The effort has also yielded challenges. The Northern Trust Open couldn't attract Tiger Woods for the fifth consecutive year. Northern Trust Open General Manager Mike Bone said the tournament wants to increase its charitable giving from $1.5 million to between $6 million and $7 million. And weather forecasts call for showers the entire week. 

"We have one of the best fields and I've seen more enthusiasm for the players meeting the executive director than the other way around," said Bone . "He has his name and reputation and he's putting it on the line for this tournament."

West also has put his competitive instincts on the line. As part of the Play for L.A. campaign, West visited various iconic sites in Los Angeles, including Surfrider Beach in Malibu on Friday, where he two-putted on a ramp off a lifeguard tower. Even if the main motivation entails raising money for the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, the competitive fire hasn't simmered.

"We've always said this is one of the hardest games there is," West said. "It was devised by the devil, by the way. It takes incredible discipline to play this game."

And with West's own discipline, he's taking the necessary steps in creating more buzz around the tournament.

Said West: "I'm hopeful that this event will grow more and more so we can raise significantly more money to give to these local charities and people who have been so supportive of the golf tournament."

--Mark Medina

mgmedin@gmail.com

 
Comments () | Archives (9)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I'll repost this on a new thread and welcome your comments.

The more I think about the Sasha trade the less I like it. We gave up this year's #1 draft pick and Sasha for Joe Smith and a 2nd round pick just to save some money. I'm sure Sasha would come in handy right about now, when the Lakers are trying to move Artest or could acquire Carmelo. Nothing against Smith, but he certainly isn't helping the team.
I still think we pull the trigger on Melo and take our chances of threepeating, but set ourselves to win more championships in the near furure. I believe this trade gives us a very good chance to win this year and for years to come.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4o47lvt

Note: Wizards would be more inclined to do this trade for Sasha and our #1 pick instead of Walton.
Pacers actually get better, and if you were to tell the Nuggets that losing Carmelo, Nene, and JR Smith would still make them a contender, I'm sure they would take it.

I believe that with this trade we will attract D Howard to join the Lakers next year. We can then trade McGee and Gasol for Howard and Ryan Anderson.

This year Lakers:

Hinrich - D. Fish
Kobe - S. Brown
Carmelo - Artest
Gasol - Odom - Caracter
McGee - Gasol - Ratliff

I can hear it now, "too many new players on the team"

Next year Lakers: (pending free agent signings and draft picks)

Hinrich - Fisher
Kobe - Brown (FA)
Melo - Artest
Odom - Anderson - Caracter
Howard - (FA)

Anyway, just tinkering with the trade machine. That's what I'd do if I was MK. I wonder what Jerry West would do?


Sean,

you wrote: Their are exceptions;

Spurs 2005
Boston Red Sox 2004
New York Islanders 1975
Pittsburgh Steelers 2009
Green Bay Packers 2011
Indiana Pacers over New York Knicks 1995
New York Yankees 1958
Detroit Tigers 1968
Miami Heat 2006
New York Giants 2007

my response: yep. That's why they're called "exceptions". That means that
it's against the norm.

Look, I would rarely tell you what Kobe & Phil aren't capable of. I would ask
you: Why on God's green earth would you make it harder for yourself?

KOBE AND ARTEST


Reverse the roles of Kobe and Artest on the offensive end and Lakers might just make more 3 pts with Kobe shooting them and Artest punishing the defense with his penetration and post up.


Advantages,
Kobe is a much a better shooter than Artest.
Artest can create and 0will actually pass the ball to Bynum and Gasol inside.
Artest is a better rebounder in th epaint than Kobe.
Use the strength of Artest by punishing the defense in the paint.
Artest is not a 3 pt stand up shooter, why are we exposing his weakness, instead, take advantage of his skills and strength.
Kobe is an excellent 3 pt shooter and easily can fake a 3, 1 dribble for an easy j or go staright to the hoop and still can male plays, things Aretst are slow to do if put in this position.


Hobbitmage

my response: yep. That's why they're called "exceptions". That means that
it's against the norm.

That's beautiful, having someone doing your work for you eh?

Now my main question, do you know where in the world KBBlitz went? The psp has been asking but got no headway so far.

Thanks
PSP Solutions Architect

Bynum's complain is a SIGN he KNOWS he can dominate this game with his size and WANTS THAT RESPONSIBILTY.


BYNUM is basically SLOWLY asking this team is no longer Kobe, Gasol and Odom, BYNUM is now WANTING to begin the SHIFTING of the TEAM"S offensive firepower on him. The time of Gasol, Odom, Kobe being the supporting role players may have just start to begin. It will not happen this year, but this is the FIRST TIME without any planning and without hidden agenda that BYNUM SPOKE UP out of frustration after an embarassing loss and now wnats the ball to be in his hands.


Either way, Bynum's complaint is a STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTIN FOR HIM AND FOR THE LAKERS.

Bynum's complain is a SIGN he KNOWS he can dominate this game with his size and WANTS THAT RESPONSIBILTY.


BYNUM is basically SLOWLY asking this team is no longer Kobe, Gasol and Odom, BYNUM is now WANTING to begin the SHIFTING of the TEAM"S offensive firepower on him. The time of Gasol, Odom, Kobe being the supporting role players may have just start to begin. It will not happen this year, but this is the FIRST TIME without any planning and without hidden agenda that BYNUM SPOKE UP out of frustration after an embarassing loss and now wnats the ball to be in his hands.


Either way, Bynum's complaint is a STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTIN FOR HIM AND FOR THE LAKERS.

PSP,

you wrote; That's beautiful, having someone doing your work for you eh?

my response: work smarter not harder. :)

re: KB Blitz. No idea where he went. Maybe he's studying to pass the bar. :)

KBBLITZ, Your adoring public is calling for your return!!! Now stop this ISH and come back NOW!!!!!!! WHO DO WE WANT? KBBLITZ!!! WHEN DO WE WANT HIM? NOWWWW!!!!!

MM, in that video are you wearing a tie or a tablecloth? ha ha

GOooooooOOOO LAKERS !!!


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