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Sports Media Remembers Jerry West, NBA Champion and Executive, Who Passed Away at the Age of 86

Jerry West, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and executive who won a collective eight championships, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 86, the LA Clippers announced. West, whose silhouette encompasses part of the National Basketball Association logo, was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and played in nine NBA Finals.

“Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86,” the LA Clippers organization said in a statement. “His wife, Karen, was by his side.”

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Throughout his 14-year playing career, West was named an All-Star every season and is the only player to be named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals as a member of the losing team. West had been serving as a consultant for the LA Clippers since 2017 and previously worked in the front offices of the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for a third time as a contributor later this year.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years,” Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, said in a statement. “He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments.  He was the league’s first Finals MVP and made rising to the occasion his signature quality, earning him the nickname ‘Mr. Clutch’.

“Jerry’s four decades with the Lakers also included a successful stint as a head coach and a remarkable run in the front office that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest executives in sports history.  He helped build eight championship teams during his tenure in the NBA – a legacy of achievement that mirrors his on-court excellence.  And he will be enshrined this October into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor, becoming the first person ever inducted as both a player and a contributor.

“I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life.  On behalf of the NBA, we send our deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife, Karen, his family and his many friends in the NBA community.”

Members of the sports media industry reacted to the news throughout the day on Wednesday, reflecting on West’s life and impact in basketball and sports as a whole:

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