Number 4 – Jerry West
Due to our past coverage of his only NBA championship, for West’s recap, we decided to review the role he played in building the 3-peat team of the early 2000s.
Here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: Jerry West‘:
Following his 3 years as a scout, in 1982 West would move into an executive role with the Lakers as he continued to help the organisation build a team to dominate the 80s. His first significant act as General Manager would come in the 1982 NBA Draft as with the 1st pick the Lakers would select James Worthy.
In the 1982-83 season, the Lakers went 58-24 as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the team with 21.8 PPG as they made the Finals. But lost in 4 games to Moses Malone and the Philadelphia 76ers. This would prompt West to make a trade in the 1983 offseason, trading Eddie Jordan, Norm Nixon and 2 second-round picks to the San Diego Clippers for Swen Nater and a recently drafted Byron Scott (a building block for the coming decade).
These 2 moves would prove key in the 1985 championship run. After being beaten in the ’84 Finals by the Boston Celtics in 7 games, the Lakers would win their 9th NBA title in ’85 over their dreaded rivals. Both Worthy and Scott played key roles in the victory as throughout the Playoffs they averaged 21.5 and 16.9 PPG, respectively.
To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.
After being drafted with the 2nd pick in the 1960 NBA Draft, Jerry West would turn himself into a Los Angeles Lakers legend. As a player, he earned himself an NBA assist title, an NBA scoring title, 14 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA All-Star MVP, an NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection, and 4 NBA All-Defensive First Team selections. As well as, 2 All-NBA Second Team selections, 10 All-NBA First Team selections, an NBA Championship, an NBA Finals MVP, and later an induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1983 the Lakers made it so no other Laker would wear number 44 again, hanging his jersey in the rafters of The Forum, and now the Staples Center. Becoming the third player to have his number retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. All these achievements more than cement his number 4 place as a true Laker great!