When Jerry West decided to take his talents to Hollywood, 3 Franchises were immediately affected. The Los Angeles Clippers gained an amazingly talented legend in the NBA who is known by most as “The Logo” because his likeness has graced NBA’s logo for as long as I can remember. The Golden State Warriors lost the man that is credited as a HUGE reason for Kevin Durant landing with the squad and subsequently forming a super team so unbeatable that they are in the discussion as one of the greatest teams in the history of the National Basketball Association. Lastly, the Los Angeles Lakers showed how far rthey have fallen as a franchise since the glory years of Kobe and Shaq. In the past, an individual would not even think about leaving a Championship winning team to head to L.A unless it was to join the Lakers, now the Clippers are seemingly the more “desirable” franchise in Hollywood. Let’s take a look at what Jerry West can mean to the Clippers and what he left behind in Oakland.
In making a move to the Clippers franchise, Jerry West basically told the basketball world that he is not motivated strictly with being on a Championship caliber team, which he would most certainly add to the 10 titles he has already won as a player and executive, BUT instead he wants to help build another Championship contender to rival the Warriors and Cavs on a yearly basis. The move was a calculated decision, as he openly admitted that he wanted to join the Lakers in a similar role that he held with the Warriors (special consultant in player personnel) and now the Clippers, however Magic Johnson made it known that the Lakers were not interested. I strongly believe that with all of West’s accomplishments as an executive, if/when the Lakers do turn it around, Jerry West would garner some of the accolades, taking some shine from Magic Johnson and his role in the Lakers resurgence. Laker fans should be upset and worried becauseuu we know what Jerry West can do, and now he is even more motivated put a Championship contender together for the in town rival of the Lakers.
With it known to the world that LeBron James is likely to move to Los Angeles before his career is over (he owns a $21 million home in Brentwood, CA and has his children already enrolled in a private school down in Southern California), that destination was most likely with the Lakers. In fact it was said to be a 75% chance of him in the Lakers purple and gold as soon as next offseason. However, after the hire of West, the Clippers now hold an ad vantage over the Lakers in “Destination James – The LeBron offseason”. Not only do the Clippers employ one of the banana boat boys in Chris Paul, they also have the better coach, better roster and the better executive in Jerry West, whom LeBron has a great respect for. The stars of the Warriors were instrumental in bringing Kevin Durant to the Bay Area, BUT without the ‘Logo’ I don’t believe it would have been such a sure deal for Durant to come. They had a lengthy phone conversation and Kevin Durant expressed the magnitude of what was said during the call. NBA players these days have all sorts of access to social media, rumors, trades, etc and they all see the success that seems to follow Jerry West. This year will go along way into future of the Clippers organization, and West will certainly sense some pressure to get the Clipphers more relevant, including a Western Conference finals appearance.
If he can produce in his first year, I think it will be a foregone conclusion that LeBron and another superstar will join up with Chris Paul and the Clippers squad to take down the mighty Warriors team that ironically Jerry West had a huge part in putting together. Let’s just hope, if this happens, that the WCF series isn’t a “quickie”.All in all, in projecting the future, I feel that the Warriors will miss not having Jerry West in the building. He made his mark however, and has 2 Championship rings to show for it. I don’t think there is much more he could have done so as sad as we all are that he’s gone, I’m excited for this opportunity he has now and I hope he can land some superstars and help the Clippers become “The Team” in Hollywood. Magic Johnson will be kicking himself when the ‘Logo’ brings Superstar after Superstar to Los Angeles, but not for the Lakers, but to the in town rival, and the team to beat down in So Cal, the Los Angeles Clippers. Congrats and good luck Mr. West!
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