View Full Version : Jerry West to the Grizzlies?

04-24-2002, 12:17 AM
link (http://espn.go.com/nba/news/2002/0423/1373128.html)

Tuesday, April 23
Grizzlies strike deal with West, newspaper says
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Former Los Angeles Lakers star and executive Jerry West will become president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies, according to a published report.

Quoting unidentified NBA sources in Wednesday's editions, The Commercial Appeal said West, 63, and the Grizzlies have struck a deal and an announcement is expected early next week.

A woman who answered the phone at West's Los Angeles-area home Tuesday night said he would not comment on the report.

Grizzlies majority owner Michael Heisley said Tuesday he could not confirm a deal.

"I'm not in a position to say anything about Jerry West," Heisley told the newspaper. "We asked for permission to talk to him. We've talked to him and there's no decision at this time."

A spokesman for the Lakers declined to comment on the newspaper's report Tuesday night, referring questions to the Grizzlies.

"Jerry is not commenting on any of those media reports," Lakers spokesman John Black said. "It's not a Lakers issue, that would be a Grizzlies issue."

The Commercial Appeal said West would replace Dick Versace and be given complete autonomy over the Grizzlies' basketball operation. Versace is expected to become the team's general manager, a position vacated when Billy Knight was fired last Thursday.

West retired as head of the Lakers basketball operations in August 2000, ending four decades with the franchise as one of the NBA's greatest players and top executives.

As an executive, West completed a number of major deals, among them the acquisition of Kobe Bryant in a trade for Vlade Divac shortly after the 1996 NBA draft and the signing of free agent Shaquille O'Neal that same summer.

West joined the Lakers in 1960 as a first-round draft choice from West Virginia, and was acknowledged to be one of the NBA's finest players, retiring in 1974 with a 25.0 scoring average.

He was used as the silhouette for the NBA logo, and was honored as one of the league's 50 greatest players in 1997.

West won one championship as a player, in 1972, and six more as an executive -- five in the 1980s.

After retiring as a player, West spent two years away from the game before replacing Bill Sharman as coach of the Lakers before the 1976-77 season.

He spent three years as coach and three more as a special consultant with the team before being promoted to general manager in 1982.

West was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Lakers retired his No. 44 jersey four years later.

The Grizzlies just finished their first season in Tennessee with a 23-59 record after relocating from Vancouver.

04-24-2002, 01:21 AM
He should have gone to Atlanta. With his bball savvy, he could have made them contenders in a short time in the East.

04-24-2002, 01:37 AM
<< He should have gone to Atlanta. >>

Yep. The West is tough enough without the Grizzlies getting competent management.

04-24-2002, 08:04 AM
yeah, building in the west is tough, but what good would it do for him to go to atlanta. even if he builds a winner, no one will go see them play. even in the 'nique years, they couldn't sell out a game. in memphis, at least, they are the top dog.

plus, if you look at the core players of each team, i think memphis is better set to build for the future. i think i would rather have gasol, battier, wright, swift, and even nutjob jwill than abdur-rahim, terry, and ratliff if i was building for the future (potential, cap room, etc.). plus the grizz's first round pick this year is protected to #5 (otherwise it goes to the pistons), while atlanta's pick will go to the clippers - unless they get in the top 3.

a side note - how scary would it be for the pistons to have the #6 pick or the clips to have the #4. ouch.

04-24-2002, 01:42 PM
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth today among Knicks fans that West had zero interest in the GM job here.

04-24-2002, 02:26 PM
<< Much wailing and gnashing of teeth today among Knicks fans that West had zero interest in the GM job here. >>

West may be a basketball genius--which means he's smart enough to know that it is going to take a lot more than mere genius to resuscitate the Knicks. More like a genuine miracle-worker.

04-24-2002, 07:20 PM
For the next three of four years, being a Nix fan is going to be like passing one boulder-sized kidney stone.

04-24-2002, 07:32 PM
lol mavkiki!

West is not likely to go anywhere. His wife is from the LA area, he is in poor health, and his kids are in California. It would be a very tough move for him.