Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 11:18 am  |  32 responses

For Old Time’s Sake: Jerry West

Mr. Clutch

NBA Champion, Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, All-Star Game MVP, NBA Scoring Champ, 10x All-NBA First team, 4x NBA All-Defensive First Team, 2x NCAA All-American, NCAA Final Four MOP (Most Outstanding Player), 2x NBA Executive of the year, Hall of Famer, One of the 50 Greatest players of All-Time, #44 Retired by the Lakers, the NBA Logo silhouette, and career averages of 27 pts, 6.7 asts, 5.8 rbs. Well done, sir….well done.


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  • andre anglais


  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jerry West had a high-top fade that would have made many black youths jealous in the 80s.

  • LP


  • http://slam.com Chris Mullin’s Accent

    Jerry West had a jumpshot that would have made many black youths jealous in the 80s.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Joe Dumars Sr.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Wow, someone wanted him last old time’s sake, next it has to be Dave Cowens. BOOK IT!!

  • Kas

    how does this terrible song have anything to do with Jerry West?

  • bike

    Jerry West had a 60 foot shot that would have made many black youths jealous in the 80s.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ 1982

    Logo don’t lie.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Thanks Schneezy, you just made my day with this one. It’s a shame that many people don’t know just how great West was in the 60s and early 70s. People try to hold winning only one chip against him but what they fail to realize is that his team always went up against the greatest dynasty in sports and I’m betting that every other top-15 player would have suffered the same feat had they played in the 60s.
    Much love and respect to the Logo, the second greatest 2-guard of all-time.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    His Finals MVP came in a losing effort right? He was a beast

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, yeah. Dude had a triple double (42/13/12) in GM 7 of the ’69 Finals vs the Celtics. The amazing thing wasn’t the trip dub or winning finals MVP on the losing squad, it was doing all of that on a bad hamstring while being doubled and tripled teamed all game long.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I only hold it against West because people hold it against Wilt that he only won two. That’s a clear double standard.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Is that game on YouTube? West is one of the all-timers that I just haven’t had much opportunity to see a lot of tape of. Seen a few games and stuff, but not enough.

  • James AKA…

    Its held against Wilt because he had the ability to do more to win if he wanted it. You can’t argue the same with West. Wilt was too often focused on individual notoriety, which was his Achilles heal in terms of championship play. Wilt (like Shaq)could have won more, and that’s why he’s chastised; not just because he didn’t win but because he could have but didn’t through his own faults.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, yes it is. Just type in 1969 nba finals game 7 and it should come up.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    I know I’m gonna get flamed for this but here goes. First off, I have nothing but respect for the greats of the game, from the beginning until today, but when I watch these old time videos, I feel like I could have average 20 playing with these guys. They just look so slow and unathletic. Even a great player like West, look at the way he has to look at the ball as he dribbles. At the end of the day the game, and just people in general, have evolved, but one can’t help but compare.

  • bike

    @dfrance. I have often wondered the same thing. I think the biggest difference between then and now is the level of athletic ability that today’s players have compared to past. The old time videos of Wilt really seem to underscore that point. It looked like a big reason that Wilt dominated was height, leaping ability, and strength compared to smaller unathletic guys that did not have a chance against him. The greats would still be able to compete today but probably would not average the same numbers that they did back then.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    it goes both ways. People as Human Beings haven’t changed in hundreds of years. Our practices in preparing and training our bodies has, and we have become (obviously) more sophisticated and practiced, learning better more efficient techniques & skills. So you, like most people that grew up playing ball in the modern generation would likely succeed in the old NBA…but those guys, like Jerry West, if they grew up today, would more then likely still be among the best players in the world, at an even higher skill level then they were then.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Basically there professionals because their big human beings with athletic gifts and extremely good work ethics. All translate to this generation just as they did 50 years ago.

  • logues

    perfect fitting song for jerry west

  • Armando

    You can’t compare eras. If West and Wilt played today they would have benefitted from the more efficient and practice techniques, skills and knowledge as well and performed accordingly. Judge a player by how great he was in his era… when one era ends and another begins is another story… One can argue this way:
    wilt was good when jabbar was ROY, jabbar was an all-star in the bird/magic era, Bird and Magic was NBA royalty when Jordan averaged 37ppg. Jordan was king when Shaq was in his prime. Shaq and Kobe were all-NBA together… Kobe is a top 5 player today….

  • http://thetroyblog.om Teddy-the-Bear

    @ JTaylor: I searched for it on Youtube but I couldn’t find the game, other than a short NBA’s Greatest Playoff moments clip of Nellie’s shot. Could you post a link, please?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Teddy, type in PhillyDippy5. He used to be WiltatKansas but youtube took it down. The 69 Finals isn’t there anymore but he still has quite a few old-school games ( exp;’70 Finals NYK/LAL, ’64 Finals Wilt/Russell, ’71 Finals Kareem/Unseld/Oscar/Monroe).

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Thanks man. Yeah I was familiar with WiltatKansas–didn’t know they took his account down though. Probably the best basketball youtuber out there. So much old school ish and he’s only in his early 20′s I think.

  • Allenp

    People who think Wilt didn’t put in work don’t know Wilt. He had flaws but he wasn’t lazy.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    You know, even in today’s standards, Jerry West would be considered an above average athlete. He could have easily been throwing down insane dunks (his rumored vertical coming out of college was so ridiculous it had to have been exaggerated) but players simply didn’t do that back in the day in fear of breaking the equipment, and it was considered the unsafe option compared to an easy layup. He was also whip-quick in the open court, I remember watching a Bill Bradley documentary and watching Jerry West run circles around the guy… West was fast. He was a good 6’4-6’5 (remember, players were measured without shoes back then) and had gigantic, ape-like arms that went down to his knees (think Rondo-eque). His jumpshot was Ray Allen like quick but he’s got that JJ-Reddick standing vert to send himself even higher, it wasn’t going to get blocked even in today’s game. His defense was revered, in college they had him guarding people twice his size at the forward spot… he averaged nearly three steals a game on one leg at 35. Watch the 72 all-star game and they mention him possibly averaging 5-10 steals a game during his prime. Let’s not even talk about his passing. With a far more structured team offense and ticky tack fouls, I can’t see how West wouldn’t succeed.
    People have to realize during games in the 60s and 70s, there was no three point line. There was no reason for people to stand far out. So, the paint was always ridiculously packed. A lot of people don’t understand the reasons for the slow & low dribble of the earlier eras, but you constantly had hands reaching into grab the ball, you couldn’t be crossing guys out when everyone has their hand in to grab the ball. Ever play a pick up game with one-point per bucket? You’ll understand. Watch actual games of West running the open court and you’ll see his actual speed. His ball handling wasn’t THAT great, but there is nothing else about West’s game that wouldn’t pan out well in this era. Out of everyone in the 60s, if you simply supplanted him in today’s game, he’d have the most success out of everyone (Wilt withstanding in a center-less league).
    Anyone who thinks they could just run in the 1960s and drop 20 is missing a screw or two. This wasn’t the 1920s.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    And Wilt’s problem wasn’t laziness, Wilt was noted to be in the gym every freaking day lifting while guys like Don Nelson were lifting booze and cigarettes. Wilt’s problem was that he felt teams should contour around his work schedule, and if he didn’t feel like practicing because he had places to be, he didn’t practice and just worked out later. It’s not really a lack of hard work, but a lack of bother to work out with the team.
    What’s strangely left out in history is Russell’s equally bad training habbits as well.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Jerome West may be the most overrated guard in NBA History.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Suggestion for next f.o.t.s.-
    (young) Vince Carter.. And play Onyx’s- “Slam Harder”.. pleeze.

  • Kadavour

    Jerry was ahead of his time with his ability to create his jumper off the dribble going right, and he also had something of a euro/dwade 2 step gather taking the ball to the hole in traffic. Both moves seem to stem from an inability to finish left, as opposed to how those moves complement a more complete arsenal in today’s game. Someone made a great point about ppl not changing much in the last 50 years, does Jerry have the physical make up to equal a Brent Barry in athleticism given today’s standard of training? We don’t know. He’d need at least that to crack an NBA roster though. Few players in that era could go left, it’s tough to watch. To compare his jumper to Ray Allen’s is utter nonsense though. Ray’s release is the result of decades’ worth of basketball evolution. To say that Jerry had THAT quick release with that kind of lift and precision is plain dishonest.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    You’re reading talking points and responding. West wasn’t terribly great finishing with this left hand but that has nothign to do with creating his jumper off the right. He could shoot going to the left or anywhere. And knock the “evolution” talk when speaking of Ray Allen. He didn’t have university professors working with him when he was five. Ray Allen was taught his shot by his father and it was a great shot, but it wasn’t like it was taught by scientists who were watching the last 50-years of the NBA and marking down adjustments.
    West had a shot as quick as Ray Allen. Watch a game, please.