Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Jerry West on autobiography: 'It was painful to write'

October 4, 2011 | 11:17 am

For all the accomplishments Jerry West reached in his storied NBA career, the losing consumes him more than the winning satisfies him.

When he won his lone NBA championship as a player in 1972, West felt uncomfortable basking in champagne and celebrating. When the Lakers unveiled his statue this year during All-Star weekend, he expressed paranoia no one would actually attend the ceremony. And in his autobiography,"West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life" slated for an Oct. 19 release, West says the book centers more on what he calls "growing up in a very abusive household" in West Virginia than it does about sharing salacious details.

"This book is not a book trashing people," West said Monday night at a local Best Buy, which promoted the debut of NBA2K12. "I don't trash anyone in this book. This book is an honest accounting of who I am. Maybe it's a little bit too honest. It was painful to write, to be honest with you. I'm hoping that people who led a very awkward life can take something from this book. There's not a whole lot of basketball in it."

But the basketball parts are also revealing. Even if West contends he's not "trashing people," advance copies have centered on West confirming the reporting from Lakers author Roland Lazenby, who had reported in the Chicago Sun-Times former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson kicked West out of the locker room during the 1999-2000 season. West didn't backtrack on his passages outlined in the book feeling Jackson disrespected him by refusing to talk to him. 

"He obviously didn't want to have a relationship, which is fine," West said. "I respect Phil for everything he's done and his career. But you would like to have a relationship with someone. If someone wants to know if it was good or bad, it's neither. I didn't have a relationship."


Jerry West autobiography reportedly details troubled personality

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at