Is Jerry West the Greatest GM in all sports?
How will this man be remembered? For the NBA logo? Mr. Clutch? Or the best GM of all-time? He’s done it all from dominating the college basketball scene in West Virginia. To winning the NBA finals as a player and a GM. Jerry West became the General Manager of the Los Angeles lakers in 1982–83. He left L.A. in 2002 with six championships as a gm. I know what your saying the 80’s was the golden era of basketball and the showtime lakers had a squad. Anybody could have managed them. Name a GM that’s worked with one team for 20 years and left the job in the same condition he received it? Go ahead i’ll wait? We will never see this type of greatness. Jerry will be Eighty Years old in May of this year. Most people are senile by their mid 70's. Jerry on the other hand is sharper than most.
Mr. West accepts the Lakers job in 1982 season with the hopes of riding the wave of his franchise player Magic Johnson. Johnson career was cut short in 91’ due to HIV. Lakers went thru a dry spell between 1991–1996. West had his work cut out for him. He managed to make the playoffs. Post Magic-era but they weren’t real contenders in the west. Jerry drafts Nick Van Exel in the 2nd rd in 1993 and Eddie Jones in the First round of 1994. He pulled the ultimate heist in trading Vlade Divac for a young Kobe Bryant in 1996. Then acquires the most dominant player Shaquille O’neal from free agency in the same year. Eddie, Kobe , Shaq and Nick makes the all star team in Kobe second season. At the time Kobe was coming off the bench for Del Harris. Imagine what this team could of been if they stuck together post Jordan-Era? Towards the end of his tenure with the Lakers . Jerry manage to grabbed three consecutive rings between 1999–2002. Before calling it quits with the Lakers.
He leaves for the Memphis Grizzlies to challenge himself. At the time Memphis was a useless team. West turns them into a playoff team within a year. In 2004 Jerry won Executive of the year and Hubie Brown won coach of the year. West leaves Memphis in 2007. The Grizzlies trade Gasol to the Lakers in ’08. For bum ass Kwame Brown, some conspiracy theorist suspect Jerry had something to do with it. But evidence shows nothing, I do suspect that Lakers Management may have had an inside scoop on Gasol prior to the trade. But we have no proof of anything.
Jerry comes back to the game in 2011 working for the Golden State warriors . A team that is acquired by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. At the time Golden State was at a crossroad. They had Steph Curry who was a promising talent but couldn’t stay healthy. Jerry West drafts Klay Thompson at #11 in the 2011 draft and Draymond Green the following year in the second round. In the years of past most GM’s never had two sharp shooters that can shoot at Klay and Steph ability. Jerry created that formula and now teams prefer to build there team around a sharpshooting backcourt. Similar to Mccollum and Lillard, Cp3 & Harden etc. These dynamic backcourts became reality due to Jerry’s vision.Now building a great backcourt is the new blueprint to winning a title. Once Jerry stepped foot in Golden state you saw great signs in this team for years to come. Management was committed to winning a ship ASAP and guaranteed it. Steph became injury free and Klay showed star capabilities each season. He’s arguably the second best shooting guard now. In 2012–2013 Golden state made the playoffs for the first time in a while. Have you noticed the trend in Jerry making the playoffs in year two as GM? They gave the San Antonio spurs a run for their money in the second round. It was impressive to watch because everything critics said that Steph couldn’t do. He did it while a dynasty was brewing. Klay turned into a star right in front of us. Let’s not forget when Jerry was vocal about not trading Klay for Kevin Love. At the time everybody thought he was crazy.
Hindsight I thought Jerry lost his mind for not pulling the trigger on that trade. But man was I wrong. He kept Klay passed on Love and won the ship that same year. Only to pick up Kevin Durant a season later as a consolation prize. After Harrison Barnes Departed in 2016. If Jerry isn’t the best sports executive in all sports then I don’t know who is. Time and time again Jerry Shows that he’s 10 steps ahead of his peers. To be this hands on in player evaluation going into the age of 80. This goes to show that age ain’t nothing but a number.
Jerry is looking for a new challenge. Which is crazy to me because what hasn’t he accomplished on and off the court? He goes to the Los Angeles Clippers a team that is viewed as the step brother of the Lakers. First thing he does is trade CP3. He signs Blake Griffin to the max just to get rid of him in the first month of January 2018. While everyone was under the impression Deandre was the first one to go . What trick does Jerry have under his sleeve next? All we can do is stay tune and see.
On a side note does Jerry need a second jersey retired as an executive? Or should they make a statue of him in the board room at the Staples center? Watching these bold moves I’m convinced he’s the best GM in all sports. To be a legendary player and a GM I don’t see anybody with his accolades surpassing him. Two rings as a player and Eight rings as an Executive is unheard of. He’s. The originator of rebuilding and reloading. The triple OG GM of being able to adapt in different eras and styles of play for the past thirty six years in the NBA. In my opinion he is the best General Manager in all sports. I find it hard to see anybody repeat those same exact accolades like him. While transitioning as a Hall of Fame player and becoming an even better GM validates his greatness as a living basketball GOD.