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Jerry West Biography

Born In Cheylan, West Virginia, Picked By Lakers In Nba Draft, Chronology, Shines In PlayoffsSELECTED WRITINGS BY WEST:


American basketball player

One of the best shooting guards in professional basketball history, Jerry West went on to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to basketball dominance during the last quarter of the twentieth century as first a coach and later general manager and executive vice president. After nearly four decades with the Lakers organization, West stepped down in 2000, but it did not take him long to decide that retirement was not for him. In October 2002, West hired on as president of the Memphis Grizzlies, a young team that had not yet made it into the playoffs. Nicknamed "Mr. Clutch" for his reputation for saving the game with last-minute heroics, West is the model for the silhouetted figure who is the focal point of the National Basketball Association (NBA) logo. As a player from 1960 through 1974, West became only the third player in NBA history to reach the 25,000-point plateau. He still holds the NBA record for the most free throws (840 in 1965-66) made in a single season. Only five years after leaving the game as a player, West was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1979. As his biography on the NBA's Web site states, West brought to the

Jerry West

game "a deadly jump shot, tenacious defense, obsessive perfectionism, unabashed confidence, and an uncompromising will to win."


(With Bill Libby) Mr. Clutch: The Jerry West Story. New York: Prentice Hall, 1969.

Sketch by Don Amerman

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Famous Sports StarsBasketball