Jerry West was the NBA Finals MVP in 1969
Jerry West was the NBA Finals MVP in 1969

Jerry West: Lakers legend and NBA logo muse dies aged 86

Jerry West, the basketball legend whose silhouette inspired the iconic NBA logo, has died aged 86, the Los Angeles Clippers have confirmed.


West featured in nine NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning the title once in 1972.

He was also an NBA All-Star in every season of his 14-year playing career.

"Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86. His wife, Karen, was by his side," the Clippers announced.

West was the third player in league history to reach 25,000 points after Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson - retiring on 25,192.

He was part of the USA team that won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and was nicknamed "Mr Clutch" for his ability to deliver late in a game.

The American called time on his playing career in 1974 and moved into coaching two years later, spending three seasons in charge of the Lakers.

West later became an NBA executive and is credited with building the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s, which won five titles in a decade.

His time with the Lakers ended in 2000 and West went on to enjoy executive roles with the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers.

"Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

"As a player and an executive, his profound impact on the game of basketball is matched only by his character and integrity," a statement from the Basketball Hall of Fame added.

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