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Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  45 responses

Jerry West Criticizes Phil Jackson, Kobe and Shaq in New Book


The Mercury News‘ Tim Kawakami got an advanced copy of Jerry West’s new autobiography, and unveils some fascinating excerpts: “West and Phil Jackson clearly had a distant relationship from the moment the Lakers brought Jackson in to coach Shaquille O’Neal and Bryant, and West confirms it all. West says he was definitely troubled by Jackson’s relationship with Jeanie Buss and was put off by much of what Jackson was doing (Jackson’s first year was West’s last with the Lakers). ‘So one of the problems I had with Phil was this,’ West writes. ‘His office was right near mine and when he would arrive in the morning, he would walk right past and never even bother to wave or duck his head in to say hello. He would later say that he felt the need to stake out his territory, that on top of that he was ’a wack job,’ but I am sure it was more than that.’ West compares Jackson’s attitude to Pat Riley’s reach for more power after winning titles as the Laker coach, but West suggests that Jackson’s display was a colder version to experience. ‘Phil and I had no relationship,’ West writes. ‘None. He didn’t want me around and had absolutely no respect for me–of that, I have no doubt.’ West re-counts and confirms one of the long-rumored tension points–West says Jackson threw him out of the locker room after a game, personally (‘Jerry, get the f– out, I’m not finished here yet,’ West quotes Jackson as saying, though West adds that Jackson later said he didn’t know it was West.) West said he quickly left the locker room and didn’t ever respond to Jackson’s action. ‘I wasn’t going to lower myself and get into a p– contest with him,’ West writes. … West also, of course, describes the tense relationship of Shaq and Kobe and all the time and energy West put into getting the two to work together for the good of the team and the chance to win titles. ‘It pained me to see how much of a struggle it was for me,’ West writes, ‘how unwilling Kobe was to defer to Shaq in any way.’”

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Damn, all that tension and they still managed to win 3 chips in a row.

  • @DEKNOWZ

    The hardest steel is forged in the hottest fires.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I might get a lot of hate for this but, why is this guy the logo?? You would think the NBA would have a more highly regarded player than Jerry as their ‘Frontman.’ Don’t get me wrong, Jerry was a legend, and was a great player. I just always imagined the NBA would have a more marketable, better, worldly known player as the logo… How many people on here would have Jerry West in their top 5 ?…. exactly
    On another note… Who would you say is the greatest Laker shooting guard ever, Kobe or Jerry?.. IMO, I would say Kobe..

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I guess some people have forgotten or don’t know just how dominant JWest was in his prime. He holds the record for highest PPG avg in a playoff series, only player to win Finals MVP from the losing squad. Not to mention LA won 7 chips with him as the GM and Memphis went to the playoffs for the first time under him. So yes, JWest more than deserves to be the Logo.

  • runNGun

    Jerry West = Legend… ’nuff said.

  • LA Huey

    The rest of the NBA should be so grateful that Shaq and Kobe were so concerned with being the alpha dog. They’re dynasty could have eclipsed the 90s Bulls had they prioritized winning above all else.

  • Morgan

    “It pained me to see how much of a struggle it was for me” – it pained me to read that. I hope thats a misquote otherwise I’ve just lost a lot of respect for him. Great athlete but obviously has the ego to match.

  • JEr dawg

    Reading the Slam headline I thought it was just Jerry West sensationalizing a situation for a book he’s selling. While I kind of think there is some of that going on I now think he wouldn’t BS about stuff like this. I can’t believe it was that bad between he and Phil. Phil does march to his own beat. But, no respect? Wow. Jerry got shafted by The Buss family and Phil.
    The Kobe and Shaq thing was serious. I can’t blame Kobe for not deferring; Shaq didn’t always work hard.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    LAKERS CANT BE MAD AND JERRY, HE DID HAVE CHRIS WALLACE GIVE THEM PAU.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Logo and KAJ should have some tea together.

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

    GP23 You’re acting like the nba logo is 5 years old. The NBA and its logo have been around for a long time and when it was established, West was definitely one of the best in the league.

  • http://gmail.com z

    call me cynical but im not too surprised by this. I’ve lost alot of respect for phil over the last couple years, most specifically when he criticized the suns for coming out in open support of the hispanic community after arizona passed their anti-mexican legislation last year. Phil, like many ex-hippies, (bill walton’s another example from the bball world) has turned into an ultra conservative with his age. He just feeds into that “zen buddhism stuff” because it made him money in the ’90s. As far as shaq/kob goes, in retrospect, i don’t blame kob as much as i did at the time (it’s gotta be tough to see a guy like shaq–all that talent, ability–that doesn’t have enough drive to get himself in shape), but they both were at fault for not winning more rings. Kobe slightly more so than shaqtus

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I like Jerry West a lot, but I have a peeve. If you read that article, West is called a eternal winner. I think it’s interesting how his one ring, and numerous failures, have qualified him as a winner in so many minds. Not that I think he’s a loser, but I think that typically players who fail a lot and only win once don’t get to be “winners.” It seems like there are different rules for different folks.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah your right that is racist Allen.

  • bike

    West, Jackson, Kobe, and Shaq. In LA. At the same time. That team at that time exemplifies the effect of huge egos in one organization. West the closet nut job, Jackson the smug ex-hippie, Kobe the spoiled brat, and Shaq was – well – Shaq. Yet they won championships. Because every one of them was dam) good at what they did.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I didn’t say it was racist. It’s just part of perceptions that have to do with lots of things from race, to personality, to all sorts of stuff. We filter our worlds through lots of filters and then arrive at conclusions were swear are objective, but typically are not.

  • Sean B

    Jerry West as the NBA logo is almost as blasphemous a statement as the NFL needed a lock-out more then the NBA did. Cut the crap… Michael Jordan is the GOAT. Hell I’d rather even have Larry Bird or Magic Johnson as the NBA logo. Jerry West??? The guy who could never beat Boston?? Get outta here.

  • http://www.slamonline.com McGruff

    @AllenP: Not really, as JT21 pointed out jerry holds the record for highest PPG avg in a playoff series, only player to win Finals MVP from the losing squad. When your squad loses but you show up like that, I don’t see any reason why you should be labeled as anything less than a winner. Especially after actually winning a title. Perfect example. That Miami guy, losing in the finals to the Spurs didn’t hurt his rep’ because without his play they don’t get there. Losing to the Magic in ’09 ditto he beasted. But, against the C’s…and his dissapearing act in the 4th qtr of the finals? Plenty of help this time…That changes things. Before that, young homie was widely touted as the best player in the L. Despite his teams not getting over the hump. So it goes both ways and has NOTHING to do with color. In fact, many STILL argue that king is the best despite these failings. What does the best mean? individual performance? clutch? leadership? winning? What about being labeled a “winner” is that a collective or individual acknowledgment? Is it about the # of games a player wins or, level of play one has played at? Is Robert Horry techincally a better specimen of an “eternal winner”?

  • LA Huey

    Wilt has one ring and, as a player, he’s in a whole different tier than West. West has the much more favorable rep though. The era in which their legacies were written was influenced by racial bias. So you can’t say Allenp’s comment (although a bit out of place) doesn’t have merit.

  • LA Huey

    And for the record, I like West and his career accomplishments. I have no problem with the league making him it’s logo and while others have achieved more in their playing careers, I don’t see any reason to change the classic silhouette.

  • http://www.slamonline.com McGruff

    LA Huey: West has the much more favorable rep/ legacy…What? Hold up, what top 5 list’s have you been reading? Cause almost all of em’ iv’e seen have the stilt in there. Who did everyone compare Shaq to in the year 2000? can’t say the same for West, He’s not even considered to be the best at his position. MJ is the measuring stick for 2g’s. I haven’t seen Jerry in ANY top 5. As a player Wilt is still considered to a large degree to be the best center ever.

  • EtheKnickfan

    Mr Clutch is the logo. Get over it. MJ moved too fast and logoed up his kicks. Wilts logo would take up half the damn ball. Bill Russells ringed up hands should be the logo.

  • LA Huey

    West gets labeled as a ‘winner’. His career is portrayed as having maxed out all his abilities. Wilt has the rep of producing video game stats but ultimately an underachiever because he only won one ring. I agree, Wilt can find a spot in almost everyone’s top 5-ever list. However, (like Shaq in his MVP trophies and rebounding titles) Wilt’s career is often depicted as potential unfulfilled.

  • Dilltron3030

    Consign EtheKnickFan

  • http://gmail.com z

    Poor allenp he makes a simple observation that ppl use double standards when judging “winners” and makes no mention of race but this guy mcgruff comes in insisting that the double standards have NOTHING to do with race. Ppl seem almost scared to touch the topic of race and yet we claim to b a post racial society? Could someone explain this paradox?

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

    @ La Huey: Not to be a stickler, but Wilt won 2 rings. One of which was alongside Jerry. Which further solidifies your point that Wilt, despite actually winning, has a reputation of… not winning.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    “Jerry, get the f– out, I’m not finished here yet,” West quotes Jackson as saying, though West adds that Jackson later said he didn’t know it was West.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    So Phil Jackson thought it was team owner Jerry Buss he was cussing out, then? Oh, ok, that makes it better. Lol.

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

    ^ LOL.

  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    I sometimes disagree immensely with what Allenp has to say about race and double standards.
    In this instance, he’s right.
    Today, the memory of West as a winner has nothing to do with race because it simply has been passed down and ingrained.
    But why is West remembered as a perennial winner while guys like Big O and Chamberlain are kind of looked upon as never reaching their potential in terms of championships? I’ll give you three guesses.

  • gani

    i think bill simmons did a good job explaining in the book of basketball why west is seen as a winner, and why wilt and the big o are not seen in the same positive light. i don’t know if you guys find simmons credible, but his arguments were pretty solid to me.

  • http://slamonline.com Neitel

    Michael Jordan should be the logo…have you seen how the Jumpman, fits with white, red and blue? it’s perfect. Too sad, that logo will get rejected by the nba since it’s use for different purposes. Just think how different the league will be if it’s sponsored by Jordan, and the Logo is Jordan. Shoot, i wanna be in the Jordan League, wearing Jordan Brand, and im the pointguard for the Bobcats!

    One day, Jordan Brand should replace crappy Adidas, as the official league uniform supplier. Uniforms will be pricey, but better that Adidas Rev30…I’ll consider myself lucky if i am alive to see this.

  • Nene

    DJ MBENGA NEW NBA LOGO!!

  • CT

    Smush Parker greatest Laker EVER!!!!!!

  • IvoL

    okay jerry west deserve to be the logo, NBA Champion (1972)
    NBA Finals MVP (1969)
    12× NBA All-Star (1960–1974)
    NBA All-Star Game MVP (1972)
    NBA scoring champion (1970)
    10× All-NBA First Team (1962–1967, 1970–1973)
    2× All-NBA Second Team (1968, 1969)
    4× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1970–1973)
    NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1969)
    NCAA Final Four MOP (1959)
    2× SoCon Player of the Year (1959, 1960)
    2× Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1959, 1960)
    2× NBA Executive of the Year (1995, 2004

  • IvoL

    His nicknames include “Mr. Clutch,” for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation, such as his famous buzzer-beating 63-foot (19-m) shot that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks; “The Logo,” in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; and “Zeke from Cabin Creek,” after the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia. Playing the small forward position early in his career, West was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, leading the WVU Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game, earning Most Valuable Player honors despite the loss. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Rome, a squad that would be inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

    West’s NBA career was highly successful. Playing the guard position as a professional, he was voted 12 times into the All-NBA First and Second Teams, was elected into the NBA All-Star Team 14 times, and was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star game in 1972, the same year that he won his only NBA championship ring. He is the all-time NBA record holder of points-averaged during a playoff series (46.3) and, as a testament to his two-way play, a member of the first four NBA All-Defensive Teams, which were introduced when he was 32 years old. Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is also the only player in NBA history to have won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award despite being on the losing team (1969). West was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996.

    After his playing career, West was head coach of the Lakers for three years, leading Los Angeles into the playoffs each year and earning a Western Conference Finals berth once. Working as a player-scout for three years, West was named General Manager of the Lakers prior to the 1982–83 NBA season. Under his reign, Los Angeles won seven championship rings. In 2002, West became General Manager of the Memphis Grizzlies and helped the franchise win their first-ever playoff berths. For his contributions, West won the NBA Executive of the Year Award twice, once as a Lakers manager (1995) and then as a Grizzlies manager (2004).

    do i have to say more

  • IvoL

    His nicknames include “Mr. Clutch,” for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation, such as his famous buzzer-beating 63-foot (19-m) shot that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks; “The Logo,” in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; and “Zeke from Cabin Creek,” after the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia. Playing the small forward position early in his career, West was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, leading the WVU Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game, earning Most Valuable Player honors despite the loss. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Rome, a squad that would be inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

    West’s NBA career was highly successful. Playing the guard position as a professional, he was voted 12 times into the All-NBA First and Second Teams, was elected into the NBA All-Star Team 14 times, and was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star game in 1972, the same year that he won his only NBA championship ring. He is the all-time NBA record holder of points-averaged during a playoff series (46.3) and, as a testament to his two-way play, a member of the first four NBA All-Defensive Teams, which were introduced when he was 32 years old. Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is also the only player in NBA history to have won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award despite being on the losing team (1969).

  • pennydunk_1

    They should make Jumpman the flag of Las Vegas

  • Chuck

    For those who never saw West play or think that he can’t compare to today’s greats, just look up his playoff stats, especially the one series against the Celtics when he averaged over 40 per game. He played almost every year in the finals against Bill Russell and against K.C.Jones, probably the best defensive guard of all-time.

    He was unstoppable in big games and big situations, and not nicknamed “Captain clutch” because it was a clever monacle.

  • Bret

    Jerry West overrated? You obviously never saw West play! He was Mr. Clutch! I will match him and Oscar against any backcourt ever! I hated Jerry West! I`ve watched NBA basketball for 45 years. Of all the guys I feared having the ball against my team in the closing seconds, I feared the “Logo” the most. I like Shaq, but he was not in Wilts league.

  • GOATofGOATS

    To Allenp – I think the reason why people consider Jerry West a winner is that he was always great, he never gave up, despite all the tough losses he had throughout his career. The only poor playoff series he had that I’ve read about is ironically the 1972 Finals, the only time he won a championship. The Lakers kept losing to Boston, but Jerry West was always Mr.Clutch. He averaged 41 PPG in the 1969 NBA Finals and won the FMVP. He did everything he could to win. But for whatever reason his teams could never win it all.

    Even Bill Russell feels the same way:

    “Even before his sole championship in 1972, the Lakers held a “Jerry West Night”, and eleven-time NBA champion and perennial rival Bill Russell appeared and said: “Jerry, you are, in every sense of the word, truly a champion… If I could have one wish granted, it would be that you would always be happy.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/jerry-west#ixzz1ZNsVKwJs

  • Mike Manderfeld

    I purchased this book 2 days ago and I am almost finished with it. An absolutely fantastic read-I can hardly put it down. I have nothing but admiration for this man to stand up and tell it the way he saw it-the way HE remembers it! Way to Go Jerry!

  • aktion

    West is kinda da reason Lakers are falling he started make bad decisions. He is a legend though.

  • http://--- 4right

    Some time ago I read where the artist was asked who gave him the ispiration for the logo. He finally aswered Jerry West. Why is everyone saying who they would rather have on the logo? It wasn’t voted on, it sound like it was an assignment given to the artist. Just saying.

  • actionjacksonmyth

    West the reason the Lakers are falling??? Are you joking? He created the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s (five titles), then signed Shaq, drafted Kobe and hired that ingrate coach Phil Jackson, which led to three more titles to the Lakers. He left the team in 1999. How is that responsible for the Lakers falling in 2011-2012??? Jerry West, for his playing and front office performance combined, is the greatest Laker in history. The others are Magic, Kobe and Chick Hearn. Phil Jackson is not even in the top 5.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anders.narain Anders Sven Narain

    Wilt won 2 rings, one more than West.

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