Culver City Observer -

Jerry West To Clippers? It Seems Likely His Meeting With Clippers Owner and Doc Rivers Went Well

Sports Editor

 

G Laase

Jerry West

Magic Johnson trying to bring in players to the Lakers and Jerry West doing the same for the Clippers. That surely would appeal to fans of Los Angeles' NBA teams. It could happen. Johnson has already been hired by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and West recently met with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and coach/general manager Doc Rivers. Nothing is official but West would like to join the Clippers after the Lakers passed up their chance to welcome him back.

There won't be many quotes in this story because it's merely in the rumor stage, but it's likely that West and the Clippers have mutual interest in each other. West not only was an all-time Laker great player but the team's general manager when the Lakers won six championships. And at age 78 he's not through. He' done wonders for the Golden State Warriors in the last few years including being very instrumental in convincing Kevin Durant to join the team. He was called a consultant but had a lot of authority. "I've done everything I can do there," West told me prior to this season. His Golden State contract expires in July. He could also be a consultant with the Clippers but would again have a lot of authority.

If West is hired Rivers would concentrate on coaching. It is believed that if West joins the Clippers he'll bring in his son, Ryan West, who's currently the Lakers' scouting director. West is regarded as one of the best evaluators of talent in NBA history. We go back to his playing days when I traveled with the Lakers for the LA Herald-Examiner and he'd often give me his opinion of young players on other teams. He'd tell me one would be better than was considered and others were overrated. In almost every case he was right. It isn't clear if West would join the Clippers in time to convince star guard Chris Paul to stay or if he'd have the task of replacing Paul, who has a considerable interest in signing with San Antonio as a free agent in July. Paul is anxious to win a championship before he retires and the Clippers have fallen short of that goal in his six years with the team.

The Spurs would probably give him a better chance of reaching his goal. Injuries to two key Spurs players, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, marred the Spurs' hope of beating Golden State in this season's playoffs. These were the Spurs' best playmakers and Paul would add his vast talent and experience to that role. Without him the Clippers would be a less dangerous opponent unless West could find a suitable replacement. Regarding the possible new roles for West and Paul, some fans may regard them as traitors if they make the rumored changes. West, the Laker legend, would go to LA's other team and Paul, the player who triggers the Clippers' offense, would leave for a team in the same Western Conference.

But both would get new jobs they've earned with their outstanding work through the years.

 

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