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Lakers to Honor Jerry West With Statue

November 10, 2010

Lakers great gets a statue. I just hope they leave room for Shaq & Kobe.

From ESPN:

The Los Angeles Lakers will unveil a statue honoring Hall of Fame guard Jerry West during this season’s NBA All-Star weekend, multiple sources confirmed to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Los Angeles is the host city for All-Star weekend, running from Feb. 18-20.

West retired as the Lakers all-time leading scorer before Kobe Bryant eclipsed his point total of 25,192 points during the 2009-10 season. Known as “Mr. Clutch” during his playing days, West won a championship with the Lakers in 1972 and holds the distinction of being the only player in league history to be named NBA Finals MVP while playing on the losing team (1969). West was a 14-time NBA All-Star and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996.

West transitioned from Lakers backcourt to the front office and worked for the team as the head coach and a scout before being named general manager prior to the 1982-83 season. With West as the GM, the Lakers went on to win seven championships and he was named NBA Executive of the Year in 1995.

The statue will be the fifth to be erected at Staples Center and the third that is Lakers-related, following Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Oscar De La Hoya and broadcaster Chick Hearn.

Johnson’s statue was dedicated during the last NBA All-Star Game to be played in L.A. in 2004.

Lakers executive vice president of business operations, Jeanie Buss, alluded to the statue in her new book, “Laker Girl,” writing that it was her “dream” to commission another statue in time for the 2011 All-Star Game.

“Who is the next Laker deserving of the honor?” Buss writes. “Some would say Jerry West. Others would favor Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. It’s a tough choice.”

The choice was Mr. Clutch.

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