Tag:Jerry West
Posted on: March 30, 2011 8:09 am

Shootaround 3.30.11: Cavs fans rejoice

Cleveland Cavaliers fans are treated to a great win, Lamar Odom connects with Lakers fans, a look at tonight's McDonald's All-American Game, Carlos Boozer goes pop and Jalen Rose's mug shot, plus a whole lot more. Posted by Ben Golliver. shootaround
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has the latest from around the league in his post-ups.
  • RealGM has a nice primer on tonight's McDonald's All-American Game.
  • TMZ with more details of Jalen Rose's DUI arrest, including a mug shot. 
  • John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog gets to enjoy a recap for a change. "The Heat couldn’t focus, and the Cavs refused to believe that they were going to miss. Unbelievable. Great performance. Every court is just as wide as the next. The three-point line is in the same place. The lane is just as wide. The charge circles are painted the same. And yet there’s something about a special crowd that can change the outcome of a game. That’s what happened on Tuesday. A great win, and one the fans deserved."
Posted on: February 18, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: February 18, 2011 7:06 pm

Pictures: Jerry West statue unveiling

A statue for Los Angeles Lakers guard Jerry West was unveiled at Staples Center on Thursday. Posted by Ben Golliver.

During a ceremony on Thursday afternoon, a statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers guard Jerry West was unveiled outside of the Staples Center.  The ceremony last for more than an hour, and included statements from NBA commissioner David Stern, legendary Boston Celtics center Bill Russell, legendary Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hall of Fame center Bill Walton, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, Lakers owner Jerry Buss and appearances from Lakers great Magic Johnson, Lakers big man Pau Gasol, former Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis and Miami Heat president Pat Riley.  

In typical L.A. fashion, fans and many media members were cordoned off from the ceremony and VIP seating areas. To accommodate hundreds of interested Lakers fans, many of whom showed up in West or other Lakers jerseys, the presentation was televised on a giant monitor on the side of the Staples Center. Lakers founds loudly cheered for the current and former Laker greats; some even booed Russell, who was given the President Medal of Freedom this week, when he was first introduced. (Later, when Rusesll rose to speak on West's behalf, he received polite applause.)


After everyone - and I mean everyone - had a chance to honor West with personal vignettes and tributes to his importance as a player, executive and man, a curtain was dropped to reveal the statue, which shows West attacking off the dribble, in a pose similar to the NBA's logo.

The statue, which organizers say weighs 1,500 pounds and stands almost 14 feet tall, joins similar statues previously dedicated to Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, Chick Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 9:25 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 12:31 am

Kobe Bryant has about had it with critics

Kobe Bryant says that Lakers critics can "kiss (his) (expletive)."
Posted by Matt Moore

Kobe Bryant is not exactly the guy you want mad at you. As a matter of fact, in the long line of people on this planet I would not want mad at me, it's pretty much Kobe, then Chuck Norris and my mom.  But some people may wind up on Bryant's bad list shortly.  Asked by reporters about the recent criticism from people like Jerry West and Magic Johnson after practice Wednesday, Bryant snapped at reporters, then decided to give his honest opinion for those who have recently complained about the Lakers' performances in big games this season. Lakers.com captured the interview on tape. Here's the juicy part at 2:40: 
"Q: ... Magic has said you guys needs to toughen up a little more. Is there unfair criticism on this team at this part of the season?

Kobe Bryant: Don't know, don't care. People that criticize can all kiss my (expletive). I don't give a (expletive). I really don't. I keep the train moving. We're going to keep on moving, and in June, they'll say nothing. But now, it's good talk."

So, yeah. Magic Johnson, Lakers legend, can kiss his backside. That's Kobe!

Bryan has a point here.  Selling criticism right now is easy in January, but this team has proven time and time again it can screw around in January through March and hoist the title in June. At the same time, people are interested in the NBA in January, the games the Lakers have lost have been big ones, and the team needs to throw its fans a bone and beat a good team at home. It's also just not cool to throw those kinds of words out at guys like Jerry West and Magic Johnson. Then again, Bryant's as good as any Laker in history, so he's got the cred to say such things. The fact remains this criticism won't end until the Lakers start beating "elite" teams at home.

Like, oh, say the Spurs, who they meet Thursday night. In the meantime, reporters, I'd shy away from bringing that criticism stuff to No. 24.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 11:36 pm

Jerry West: Lakers too old to be good for long

Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West says the current Lakers are getting too old to be good for long. Posted by Ben Golliver. jerry-west

Even in retirement, former Los Angeles Lakers guard, coach and GM Jerry West is still regarded as one of the finest talent talent evaluators in the basketball world. When he talks, people listen.

On Friday, West talked, but the franchise he's long been associated with might not like hearing what he had to say.

The Orange County Register reports that West told a business luncheon crowd that the Lakers were getting too old to remain championship contenders for very long and hinted that he would pick LA's chief rivals, the Boston Celtics, to win the NBA title this year.
“I don’t think the Lakers will be good for much longer, ” he said. “You can keep a car running for a long time by changing the tires, etc. You can’t change a player’s tires.”
West said many of the Lakers’ current players are “getting long in the tooth.” 
“If there’s a loose ball now, how often do they get it?” West pointed out to the crowd, which was relishing the sports talk.
“I think Boston is a very dangerous team,” he said of the Celtics. “I would not want to play them every other night.”

In a study conducted earlier this month by Hoopism.com, both the Lakers and the Celtics placed in the top three oldest teams in the NBA when you weight their age by minutes played. As of Jan. 8, the Lakers' average age was 30.87 and the Celtics' average age was 30.48, virtually identical. It's worth noting that Boston's figure should come down slightly once center Kendrick Perkins, who is 26 years old, returns from injury and starts playing heavy minutes again.

Looking into the future, though, it's easy to understand what's troubling West. Guards Kobe Bryant (32) and Derek Fisher (36) are edging close to the twilight of their career. Fisher, in particular, has seemed to be on his last legs for like six years now, while Bryant figures to have a few very productive seasons left in him. But it's not just the backcourt: Lakers coach Phil Jackson is said to be retiring after this season and that likely makes everyone associated with the organization feel like the current chapter is coming to a close.

With that said, it's still too early to panic completely. Los Angeles sports key pieces like Pau Gasol (30), Lamar Odom (31), Ron Artest (31) and Andrew Bynum (23) who are not yet "long in the tooth."  In actuality, Boston may have even more questions in a few years than Los Angeles, with Kevin Garnett (34) contemplating retirement, and Paul Pierce (33) and Ray Allen (35) entering the twilight of their respective careers. 

The big difference between Boston and Los Angeles, of course, is that Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (24) has already solidified himself as the franchise centerpiece of the future. Arguably the best point guard in the NBA, Rondo will make any rebuilding effort that much easier. The Lakers, however, are left to ride Bryant for as long as possible and then pray that Bynum, who has dealt with knee injuries already in his young career, develops into a premier big man. Backup plan: wait for a dominant free agent to choose to come to LA.

Given the respective outlooks of the two teams, I think most people, like West, would choose Boston's future. Rondo's skill is more than enough to calm the nerves and provide hope.

Hat tip: Pro Basketball Talk

Posted on: November 10, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 3:31 pm

West statue joining Magic outside Staples

West to be honored with Staples Center statue at All-Star Weekend 2011. Posted by Matt Moore

Magic, you've got company.

ESPN LA reports that the Lakers have commissioned a statue which will be unveiled at All-Star weekend in February honoring Jerry West. It is the fifth statue to go outside Staples Center, and the third Laker-related piece. All-time great play-by-play man Chick Hearn, Oscar De La Hoya, Wayne Gretzky and of course, Magic, also have statues outside the famous arena.

Jeanie Buss alluded to the commissioning in her recent book, "Laker Girl ," saying that there was a choice to be made between West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jabbar, despite all his stats, accolades, and legend, failed to nab the plaster. You have to wonder how much of it was due to his notorious attitude, combined with West's contributions as both a coach and General Manager for the franchise.

West carries the nickname "Mr. Clutch" and was so involved in the team throughout his tenure that during his time as General Manager he could hardly stand to watch the games.

He looked good in gold. He'll look good in bronze.

Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:01 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:52 pm

Forget MJ, Kobe Bryant is a top 5 guard

Michael Jordan says Kobe Bryant is a top 10 guard of all time. He should have said top five.
Posted by Ben Golliver

In a recent interview with USA Today , Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the history of basketball, was asked how Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant stacks up to the greatest who have ever played the game.
It's so hard to say. I think he is always going to be within the conversations of some of the greatest players who've played by the time he is finished. Where does he rank among those, if you are talking about positions? If you are talking about guards, I would say he has got to be in the Top 10.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports caught up with Bryant for his reaction to Jordan's comment.
“It’s an accurate statement,” Bryant said. “I’m definitely one of the top 10 guards. It could mean two, it could mean one, it could mean four or five. I’m definitely one of the top thousand. Look, I know how he feels about me. “There have been a lot of great guards to play the game. For me to sit here and say, ‘He should have said top five,’ that’s disrespectful to the other guards that I’ve watched.”

In this case, I'm happy to be "disrespectful" to Jordan on Bryant's behalf: Michael Jordan should have said Kobe Bryant is a top five guard. Period.   In his 2009 The Book Of Basketball , Bill Simmons set out to rank the best players in the game, in part, to help settle questions like this one. Simmons ranked Bryant as the No. 15 player overall, and the only pure guards ranked ahead of Bryant were Jordan (No. 1 overall), Magic Johnson (No. 4 overall), Jerry West (No. 8 overall) and Oscar Robertson (No. 9 overall).  You can quibble over West/Robertson, but the rest, including Bryant, seem right to me. Since the book's release last fall, Bryant won another title with the Lakers, so his standing has only improved. Bryant refused to rank himself when given the opportunity by Spears, and this was a wise move, because current players will always be at a sentimental disadvantage when compared to retired players. Magic Johnson brings back memories, Oscar Robertson evokes tales, and Kobe Bryant still makes plays. That process of continually adding to his resume works against him whenever we try to assess his standing against stationary targets. Given that he is battling legends, the standard for Bryant to overtake guys like Robertson and West will be exceedingly high and probably not attainable until he retires, and his statistics and ring total go final.  Jordan and Johnson may wind up completely unassailable, regardless of how Bryant's career plays out, such is the magnitude of their cultural power.   Whether Bryant ever cracks that top two isn't today's discussion. Today, it's more important to realize that it's far more difficult to exclude Bryant from the top five guards of all time than it is to include him.  Who would you rather have? Bob Cousy? Isiah Thomas? John Stockton? Rick Barry? Cousy - with his titles, leadership and revolutionary back court play - makes the strongest sentimental case, but he doesn't pass the smell test. You don't think Kobe Bryant in his prime would wipe the parquet with Cousy in his prime if given the chance? On both ends Bryant's athleticism and length would be overpowering. As for the rest, they didn't win as often or in as dominating a fashingon as Bryant has. Jordan's comment shows an appreciation for the game's other great guards and, perhaps, a self-protective impulse. Surely it's easier for Jordan to remain king eternally if his strongest current challenger is given more ground to make up. It was a savvy play by Jordan and Bryant's response showed equal thoughtfulness.  Bryant knows historical rankings can't be campaigned for, they are given out collectively once they've been deemed "earned".  He also knows he's well on his way.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com