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Jerry West thinks little of being a 14-time NBA All-Star

For a ceremony meant to celebrate Jerry West's finish as the Lakers' second all-time leading scorer, winner of the 1971-72 championship and tenure as general manager that secured seven NBA titles, "The Logo" made clear Thursday before his statue was unveiled outside Staples Center that he viewed his career through a different prism.

He wished teammate Elgin Baylor could have a statue next to his. He lamented the six NBA Finals losses to the Boston Celtics. And he acknowledged he's writing an autobiography that will be harshly critical of himself.

So it doesn't come as much surprise that he makes very little of his 14 NBA All-Star appearances, let alone his view that the current NBA All-Star game is a "playground game." Still, there was this quote he shared with The Los Angeles Times in 1965 on what it meant to be on the All-Star team: "There were times when I thought I'd never make it pro. I was quite discouraged until they selected me for the All-Star Game. That was the lift I needed. I still would play a good one, then a poor one. But by playoff time, I felt I could become an outstanding player." Still, there were at least two All-Star games that remain fresh in his mind, for obvious reasons.

The 1964 NBA All-Star game brought attention labor issues: This was going to be one of the first televised games in the infant NBA. But that almost came to a screeching halt because of players, West among them, dissatisfied that they weren't being paid enough. The Times' Mike Bresnahan recently reported that most stars at that time never made more than $28,500 a year, needed second jobs, lacked pensions, lacked equal access to athletic trainers and often had to play afternoon games following an evening contest. West, for one, wanted to put an end to this.

"I was young and just trying to feel my way along and build a career for myself," West said. Lakers owner Bob Short "said to us very threateningly, 'If you don't play in this game, you're probably never going to play again.' I then said, 'I'm never going to play a game.' I am pretty defiant.

"The players were controlled by the owners," West continued. "All of us felt like we were slaves in the sense we had no rights. No one made anything then. You had to work in the summer. It was the stone ages of basketball."

1972 NBA All-Star game: This game served as one of numerous examples why West was nicknamed "Mr. Clutch." He hit a last-second shot that proved the game-winner in the Western Conference's 112-110 victory over the East, earned him an NBA All-Star MVP award and led the team with 13 points on six of nine shooting, six rebounds and five assists. West considered it a good omen for resulting 1972 title.

"It was part of a special year for us, not because of that but because we won our only championship I participated on with the players I played with," West said. "That year, little did I know that would hold a lot of memories for me, particularly with winning a championship."

--Mark Medina

[email protected]

Note: The Times' Mike Bresnahan will have a live chat today from 10:30 a.m. to noon to talk all things Lakers, the NBA All-Star game, trading deadline, the Time Warner Cable deal and much more.

 
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Fellow Laker fans, Mitch will not trade anybody, he's not that revolutionary type of GM. He is more of a reactionary leader going into case situations, approach the problem methodically and try other processes first before going to crisis mode. We saw this scenario during Smush/Kwame/Cook years, it took sometime for him to recognize that there was a problem. He dealt with a nonchalant attitude that the team is coming around, only few tweaks are needed to put them in good shape. Finally, when Kobe ranted, he suddenly go action mode, trying to ship Bynum/Odom for JKidd.

In the case of PJ, he's the getting old "baby boomer" who do not care less what happens to this now generation of Lakers. He goes back to Zen mode in search of inner peace amid, the noise and down hill destination. He's like Emperor Nero who plays his harp while Rome is burning. It is an attitude that "if I don't get the 12th ring or the 4th three peat, it is not the end of the world. These guys are not the Walt Frazier, Earl the Pearl, Dave D going back to 40 years in basketball. We're in 21st century, the generation of multi-tasking players who can do so many things while playing in NBA, it is either the Odom cologne, Artest therapy or Kobe's 3 d shoes, that's their mainbusiness. Playing in NBA is just a sideline. PJ is looking forward to retirement, attending to his investment that will last him for another 20 years before terminal illness lurks around, contemplating on another book signings and motivational speaking engagement in the future.

Lastly, our owner Jerry Buss, do you think he will rock the boat? No, he is after his legacy more interested how he will be perceived by fans in general. He will let Jimbo and Jeanie deal with the Laker affairs, Jerry's interest is day-to-day living, no longer futuristic but more enjoying the moment of glory. Perhaps, his playboy outlook and daring poker player has already waned. It is a day to day thing of looking back at the memories and recording them for the future.

Well, in our case WE are the passionate fans that backed this team all these years. We were rewarded with 16 Championship and that is something to celebrate. Other teams never had any Championships nor been in the Finals so if they beat the might Los Angeles Lakers, it was a great achievement for them. So for the 2010-11 season, who really cares but us fellow nincompoops in the Lakers Blog worrying every W-L. We have been intoxicated by media manipulations. Their objective is for us to participate because there seems to be money gained in freedom from expression. We have to temper our passion based on the change of course of this journey. As they say, enjoy it while it lasts. Don't expect too much anything that is spectacular or miracle in the playoffs, if it happens thank you, if it does not, go back to our first love which is our family. Hold on to your money and take care of yourself first, your family before delving on wasted passion.

Edwin Gueco,

Hope you are doing well. As always, well put.

BTW, have you heard that Manny Pacquiao MIGHT play at the All-Stars(Celebrity game) this weekend? I hope he does, but I also hope he does not hurt himself there, If in case he decides to play. =)


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

JoeBatz44, I'm OK, how are you there in noisy Metro Manila. Manny Pacquiao is the real thing. He has accomplished everything that we wish from a boxer in the 3rd world. He got 8 titles from different divisions, unprecedented and unbelievable for a Mindanao kid's accomplishment. He is now a legislator, an ambassador of goodwill and civic minded citizen in building a provincial hospital funded by him. Whatever happens to his journey will be icing in the cake. He will entertain us with his Karioke style, play basketball like those intramurals, it's all fun. When it comes to fight time, Pacquiao minds his business.

I enjoyed your posts and appreciate your participation in this blog although I'm aware of the sacrifices you take just to follow the Lakers. Cheers.

Yo Gueco, one and all, Ron Artest is live KTLA Channel 5 right now he's peddling PEAK performance or something Lakers themed gear. He's so oblivious to everything, I swear he looks like we just went on a 9-0 run he is so happy.

Ron Artest is a joke. A bad joke.

Just watched Ron Ron on KTLA morning show. I don't care who you are, you gotta love the man Ron has become even if he is a couple cards short of a straight.

He made a very interesting statement to the effect of: Even if I get traded it will be a move that will make the Lakers better, but I'm here now and I'll do my best to get better.

He also mentioned that every opportunity he has now is because he's in LA.

This is a guy that isn't taking anything for granted anymore. Lovin' it.

JR

MM, please delete the 8:48 post it's cursing time again.

MM: wow you spoke with the Logo. Too cool. God Bless Jerry.

Edwin... I think u may have just nailed down the 3peat ROCTD.. U crushed it! Its all on MM now.


THE STATE OF THE LAKERS !!!
......................................................
Like every successful business, whether we’re talking about a Fortune 500 company or a storied sports franchise, winning starts at the top with the CEO or owner, who sets the tone, priorities, and objectives for the business. In the case of the Lakers, that visionary is Jerry Buss whose personal dreams have been miraculously transformed into reality for millions of Lakers fans worldwide.
...
Reading and listening to Mitch Kupchak’s comments regarding the odds of the Lakers making a trade to bring in some younger players, I am reminded once again of how important leadership is to a company’s success. Much like Phil Jackson would like to go out a winner in his final season as the Lakers head coach, Jerry Buss is likewise focused on winning a championship this year and as a result the team’s priority if they are to make a trade would be to acquire help to win this year.
...
Once you understand Dr. Buss’ position, it is easy to see why the Lakers had little or no interest in trading for Carmelo Anthony midway through the season. While a good argument could be made that acquiring Melo would extend the team’s championship window, Jerry Buss understands that opportunities to win championships are invaluable and making such a dramatic midseason move would likely cost the Lakers their shot at three-peating and tying the Boston Celtics with 17 titles.
...
As a lifelong poker player, Jerry knows you don’t throw away a winning hand, even if other players suddenly are showing life. The potential pot is just too big. The Lakers have too much invested in this team and this opportunity to blink like a Stan or Jeff Van Gundy or fold like a Larry Brown. Dr. Buss has gone all in for this season to the tune of a league high $93M in salary so unless there is a surprise opportunity like the Pau Gasol trade, look for the Lakers to stand pat, which means no trades. Like Phil said, the player we need right now is already on our roster – Matt Barnes.
...
While the Lakers will probably not make a trade, I do think there is a chance that Phil may tweak the starting lineup. I don’t know if you noticed but early in the Cavaliers game Phil actually played Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom at the same time. If Ron Artest and Derek Fisher continue to struggle offensively, we may well see Phil insert Lamar Odom into the starting lineup either to replace Fisher at lead guard or Artest at small forward. This is a move that we may finally see Phil turn to because this team cannot continue to play 3 against 5 every single game.
...
I can’t help feeling that this will still turn out to be a season for the ages for the Lakers. I think as we approach the playoffs, the team will feel the energy and excitement that comes with a chance to make history, to send Phil off to Montana with his 12th ring and 4th three-peat, to get Kobe his MJ tying 6th ring and 2nd three-peat, and to get Dr. Buss his Celtics tying 17th NBA championship. We may be mired in disappointment now but I have a strong gut feeling that when greatness comes calling this June, the Lakers will answer the bell with their greatest playoff effort ever.
......................................................
TOM

Edwin,

Seems you have a pretty practical outlook on things. I think you captured the spirit of Mitch and the gang pretty well. From a perspective of not really knowing them personally those were pretty good descriptions.

It's really hard to see a trade happening. The typical trade suitors this time of year are: A. Contending teams looking for another piece of two to put them over the top, and B. Non-contending teams looking to rid themselves of bad contracts in favor of cap relief (expiring contracts)

The Lakers don't really have anything to offer to A because they're in the same position themselves. The Lakers really don't have anything to offer to B because the players they can afford to part with are either long-term deals (Artest, Blake, Walton) or have low salaries (Brown, Caracter, Ebanks).

Artest is really the most tradeable piece without breaking up the core and I just don't think he has shown enough consistency for anyone to take a chance on him.

Edwin... Nevermind.. Just had a brain fart.. I just realized ur ROCTD was snapped yesterday by Tim-4-show who was equally as worthy.. Pls excuse me.. I turned one year closer to death yesterday so I think it may have been one of those midlife crisis senior moment!

Artest is really the most tradeable piece without breaking up the core and I just don't think he has shown enough consistency for anyone to take a chance on him.

Posted by: Bay to LA | February 18, 2011 at 09:55 AM

Actually, Bay, Lamar is the most tradeable piece we have.


@LakerTom- Liked your positivity. We need to focus on one game at a time. We need to improve one game at a time, it's going to take weeks of improvement to see changes Defensively. Offensively, we have nowhere to go but up. Take it easy, approach.

Yellofever -

Just stopped by the blog for a sec and saw that you had a birthday? Well, I hope you had a happy one at that, and that you have many more.

And if you're celebrating this weekend, make sure you stay safe too. :-)

@yellofever- Happy Belated Birthday!

1972---Those were men playing that game.

Laker Tom...........A voice of reason to this chaotic time for the fans. I too think after the All-Star break they will be refreshed and ready to make their run. Matt Barnes will add some energy and maybe being home again the practices will be more intense! Keep the Faith, The Laker's will prevail!

"Actually, Bay, Lamar is the most tradeable piece we have.


Posted by: sean | February 18, 2011 at 10:06 AM "

I agree, I was considering him part of the core, though. Trading a Lamar or a Bynum obviously opens up a lot of other options but I don't think the Lakers want to go that route.

I think the Bill Simmons article is right. If the Lakers somehow got Chauncey Billups from the Nuggets (assuming they did so without touching the core) they'd be set. I just don't see how they'd pull it off.

Belated Happy Birthday Yellofever, fellow Aquarian.

*__________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY YELLOW FEVER –BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
(01) CALIPHILOSOPHER – OWNER - Yellofever - Just stopped by the blog for a sec and saw that you had a birthday? Well, I hope you had a happy one at that, and that you have many more. And if you're celebrating this weekend, make sure you stay safe too. :-)
(02) SEAN – DRIVER - @yellofever- Happy Belated Birthday!
(03) MAMBA24 – RIDING SHOTGUN – Happy Belated Birthday my Brother. Live long & prosper!
(04) FAN OF THE MAMBA – RIDING SHOTGUN2 – Happy Birthday Yellow Fever.

*__________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY YELLOW FEVER –BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
(01) CALIPHILOSOPHER – OWNER - Yellofever - Just stopped by the blog for a sec and saw that you had a birthday? Well, I hope you had a happy one at that, and that you have many more. And if you're celebrating this weekend, make sure you stay safe too. :-)
(02) SEAN – DRIVER - @yellofever- Happy Belated Birthday!
(03) MAMBA24 – RIDING SHOTGUN – Happy Belated Birthday my Brother. Live long & prosper!
(04) FAN OF THE MAMBA – RIDING SHOTGUN2 – Happy Birthday Yellow Fever.
(05) EDWIN GUECO - SGT AT ARMS - Belated Happy Birthday Yellofever, fellow Aquarian.

"Bay of LA,

Which core are you referring to? If you are referring to players who were most important to our past three finals teams, that would be Kobe, Pau and Lamar. If you are referring to last season's championship, the core remains the same, only you would have to include Artest, based on his huge contributions in the playoffs. I find it amusing that so many fans automatically place Bynum as part of the Laker core players. He's a core player in salary only, but on the court, he's a role player (for now), who doesn't finish games. Artest is too important to this team with potential matchups against Durant, Pierce, Manu, and Lebron. If any of our starters get traded, Bynum and his fragile knees and achilles should be the first to go. Bynum would bring back much more in a trade than Artest, and thus far, Artest is proven to be more valuable than Bynum in the playoffs.

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | February 18, 2011 at 10:18 AM "

I see the core as being Kobe, Pau, Lamar, and Bynum. I agree with your thoughts about Bynum but it's hard to replace his size and size is the one clear advantage that the Lakers retain over most of their competition.

Artest is debatable. He definitely had his moments in the playoffs last year, but I think Matt Barnes can spell him once he is healthy. The main reason I didn't include him in the "core" is because they have had a different player starting at SF in the playoffs in each of the last 3 years so the team has obviously survived with interchangable parts there.

Good Morning NewMexicoLL, Glad to see you are still Posting and fighting the good fight!!!
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THE STATE OF THE LAKERS !!!Posted by: LakerTom | February 18, 2011 at 09:47 AM
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Come on you know I got to say it...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!! KUDOS!!! Carry On Sir.


Hold on to your money and take care of yourself first, your family before delving on wasted passion. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | February 18, 2011 at 08:09 AM
*]
A MASTERPIECE!!!!!!! OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!! KUDOS!!!

Yellofever,My sympathies for having the same birthday as Michael Jordan. Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | February 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM
*
ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*
*
*__________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY YELLOW FEVER –BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
(01) CALIPHILOSOPHER – OWNER - Yellofever - Just stopped by the blog for a sec and saw that you had a birthday? Well, I hope you had a happy one at that, and that you have many more. And if you're celebrating this weekend, make sure you stay safe too. :-)
(02) SEAN – DRIVER - @yellofever- Happy Belated Birthday!
(03) MAMBA24 – RIDING SHOTGUN – Happy Belated Birthday my Brother. Live long & prosper!
(04) FAN OF THE MAMBA – RIDING SHOTGUN2 – Happy Birthday Yellow Fever.
(05) EDWIN GUECO - SGT AT ARMS - Belated Happy Birthday Yellofever, fellow Aquarian.
(06) LAKERTRUTH - KEEPER OF TRUTH JUSTICE & THE LAKER WAY -Yellofever,My sympathies for having the same birthday as Michael Jordan.


I think the Bill Simmons article is right. If the Lakers somehow got Chauncey Billups from the Nuggets (assuming they did so without touching the core) they'd be set. I just don't see how they'd pull it off.

Posted by: Bay to LA | February 18, 2011 at 10:20 AM

The problem is, I know Lamar's got an up and down attitude, 20/12 one night, than 5/7 the next night. Unless you're getting top value for Lamar, his contract and you have you take Luke Walton, if you want Lamar that bad. So, if I'm wearing my GM hat, that's a player for Lamar, a player for his really valuable contract, and Walton.


That's the only way I'm trading Lamar. I just don't want to trade Lamar this season. I'd rather wait until the offseason, too many variables and unknowns right now, to see what kind of offer is on the table.

I don't see Billups in a Laker uni, I could be absolutely wrong, wouldn't be the first time. Maybe if he got traded, and was bought out. Even than, it's a stretch. I don't really put much into Plaschke's player evaluations, he's not an expert, he was wrong about Ariza, he was wrong about Artest. I'm sure he's been wrong plenty of times before that.

@Tom,

I'm with you. Count me in. But, I know that every significant trade Mitch has made came about with absolutely no preamble or foretelling. They have all been surprises.

Maybe another surprise is in the works?

--FEARless

@Mamba24...Good morning to you and Ms.Mamba. Oh Hell yeah, we are the Laker Faithful to the end, Win or lose we stand by our team!! No jumping off Bandwagon's, we just become more determined to GET BEHIND our team.

Mark Medina,

Great interview.

The more I hear Jerry West speak, the more I appreciate him.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Oh Hell yeah, we are the Laker Faithful to the end, Win or lose we stand by our team!! No jumping off Bandwagon's, we just become more determined to GET BEHIND our team. Posted by: NewMexicoLL | February 18, 2011 at 10:53 AM
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WOW!!! THE SWAGGER!! THE SWAGGER!!! Thank God for our "Real Laker Girls"!!!

Bres just said that "no one in their right mind" would pick the Lakers to come out of the West.


That's the problem I have with this guy. He's a Laker hater. Or at the very least a Laker extreme-disliker. So what? Laker Nation - to him - are not in our right minds? We're idiots for believing our boys can pull this thing out? We all recognize our team may not be playing their best right now, but they are certainly far from being done. They're still one of the top teams in the league with the second half of the season to go. What a maroon.

That's the problem I have with this guy. He's a Laker hater. Or at the very least a Laker extreme-disliker. So what? Laker Nation - to him - are not in our right minds? We're idiots for believing our boys can pull this thing out? We all recognize our team may not be playing their best right now, but they are certainly far from being done. They're still one of the top teams in the league with the second half of the season to go. What a maroon. Posted by: justanothermambafan | February 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM
*
Yes, call it nepotism if you must but, I have to say it...OUT FREAKIN STANDING MA'AM!!! KUDOS!!! Carry On!

Edwin Gueco: Well said!

Billups won't leave Colorado willingly. He has said he wants to retire in Denver, so he is off the table, also.

Great interview.

The more I hear Jerry West speak, the more I appreciate him. http://www.channelsurf.eu/

JERRY WEST IS THE 4TH BEST LAKER OF ALL TIME.
1-MAGIC
2-KOBE
3-KARREEM
4-WEST-- HE NEEDED 2 WIN MORE TITLES TO BE RANKED ANY HIGHER.
5-HERES WHAT SATURDAY NIGHT IS ALL ABOUT


BLAKE GRIFFINS GREATEST DUNKS-- http://www.blakegriffinjerseys.webs.com/ GO HERE

Jerry West Statue Unveiling Ceremony -

Jerry West … Mister Clutch. I can remember vividly all those bygone Sundays watching the NBA Game of the Week on Channel 7. And so many of those contests featured the Lakers versus the Boston Celtics or New York Knicks or Milwaukee Bucks – “the powers of the NBA” as the late great Chick Hearn once upon a time labeled the fabled league’s elite. Back then, all us Lakers fans would watch the game on TV with the sound turned off while catching the play-by-play from radio via Chicky Baby. In those titanic struggles, the outcome was often settled in the final draining moments. Hearn’s blaring frenetic voice would go something like this – “Game tied with just seconds to play. West at the top of the key yo-yoing up and down with his back to the basket. Jerry being guarded like the rug on your floor – it’s nervous time! 3-2-1, Mr. Clutch’s shot at the buzzerrrrr … “Let’s go home team.”

No wonder all us kids used to imitate and idolize Zeke. With all due respect to Abdul-Jabbar’s soaring skyhook or the razzle-dazzle sleight of hands from Magic, Maravich & the Cooze or the defensive artistry of Bill Russell’s smothering smackdowns or Baylor-Dr. J-Air Jordan co-starring as Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Jerry West’s gracefully efficient and lethal jump shot with the feather touch remains the most beautiful thing ever produced by the NBA. Jerry’s jumper was always executed with such smoothness that, had it been gravy, there’d be no lumps. Armed with the reflexes of a hummingbird and the sights of an eagle, the weapon was unstoppable. He’d launch that puppy with a screeching slam on the brakes and a delicate squeeze of the trigger, then swish – all net. The most viable defense for it was prayer. How West never shot 98% from the field is a complete mystery. His misses looked prettier than most people’s makes. But the shot’s beauty belied the grit and grim reaped at the opposition’s expense.

And speaking of West’s opponents, they weren’t just a bunch of tomato cans, but rather, superstars among the greatest of all-time. Legendary players like Russell, Chamberlain, Jabbar, Reed, the Big O, Hondo, Clyde and Earl the Pearl Monroe. West against the best made a great game even better. In a current era where greed is the order of the day, Jerry West has always stood for excellence. What an amazing career he’s had. What an amazing man he is. That bronze statue should’ve been made out of gold.

Jerry of Chinatown


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