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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 10:20 am  |  52 responses

Jerry West on Unhappy NBA Superstars: ‘Call Their Bluff’


Jerry West says that NBA front-offices dealing with star players who are demanding trades, such as Dwight Howard, should see just how serious they are about losing big-time money by going to another team. From ESPN: “Asked what he would do as a lead executive in a situation where a superstar has made it known he wants out, the ex-Laker executive said it was fairly clear-cut. ‘I honestly think I’d call their bluff,’ West said. ‘I really would, because I don’t think any agent or player is going to leave $30 million on the table. I just don’t believe that’s going to happen.’ West, of course, was referencing the provision in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement that allows players to re-sign with their current teams for one more year and more annual money than any other squad. He cited that as the primary reason he wouldn’t comply with a superstar’s trade demands. And he also said he wouldn’t want a player on his team who didn’t want to be there and wouldn’t want many of the players that would come back in a deal for a high-salaried superstar. ‘If I were an executive on a team where a player says he’s going to leave, let him leave,’ West said. ‘It would be better than saddling yourself with a bunch of players that are not going to fit in to what you’re trying to do — high-salaried players, in many cases overpaid players by today’s standards, that would burden you going forward. I’d almost rather start over again myself. You’re not going to replace that player, but there’s an enormous penalty there and it looks like to me like the inmates are running the asylum if you let that happen.’”

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  • RobbieJay

    so if kobe said “im gonna leave” jerry west would be okay with that, basically.

  • Carrlos lyles

    Damn. Lol

  • Carrlos lyles

    Damn. Lol

  • Zack

    “Inmates?” Probably not the best analogy…

  • thor

    Zack@ Maybe, but I agree with him

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Cosign Zack.

  • ENDS

    Jerry west is the smartest man in Basketball

  • JR

    Did he have to use that reference at the end?

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    people who get offended he said inmates are idiots. race flag. over using the race card.

  • Josh

    “inmates running the asylum” is just a saying. If you honestly think Jerry West is racist or ignorant you’re fooling yourself.

  • LA Huey

    Don’t agree with all his words but I agree that you don’t trade for the sake of “getting something back”. If there’s no advantage to trading for him, let him walk, be a bad team, get a good pick. Cleveland seems to be recovering nicely.

  • LA Huey

    Nobody said anything about race. Maybe the comparison of employees to convicted criminals is what makes people grimace?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    I agree with his last statement but unfortunately for him all the race card players and NAACP will think he’s a racist smh

  • James Aka…

    Its inmates at an asylum not a prison. It means people who are institutionalized for profound mental illness running their own hospital. Anyone who grimaces is not reading or understanding assylum, or is being overly sensitive to the point of stupidity.

  • shawnkemp4prez

    Dwight Howard is the league’s biggest diva, and I’m tired of hearing about him…I lost all respect

  • Riggs

    @ LA Huey: exactly, the person who actually jumped to race was the person complaining about it LOL

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    All crazy people in asylums are black now? I didn’t know that

  • OTB

    Man, people are so over sensitive these days, its ridiculous. Every little word that could be misconstrued = RACISM!!

    I’m a minority myself by the way.

  • OTB

    Asylums does not reference to criminals. Learn to read – its a common idiom.

  • LA Huey

    My bad, I misread. Thanks, James. I think my point still stands though if you’re comparing employees to “people who are institutionalized for profound mental illness”….

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Where’s Allen to come clear this up for our feeble minds…. Is Jerry West racist or not????? I must know!

  • shutup

    Yeah calm down guys no need to call Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton this time; its just a saying and has no racial implications whatsoever.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    Yeah, Jerry West is a racist. I saw him jacking up fadeaways at a cross burning. He wanted to draft David Duke over Kobe. They should do something about that guy!

  • Bt

    This cOncept of losing $30 mil is ridiculous. Even though it’s a year shorter they’re going to sign another contract and recoup $20 mil of that. The diffence is more like $10 mil over 5 years.

  • wtf

    jerry, can you please let david lee leave?

    but wait a second here. no one called him racist! the people who are overreacting are the people imagining someone accusing him of racism. sometimes it seems the only racist act today is (rightly or wrongly) calling a person racist.

    for example saying obama looks like a crackhead isn’t racist, but if you accuse the guy then you’re playing the race card inappropriately. sorry, a little off topic, but you know, i am trying.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/01/on-looking-like-a-ghetto-crackhead/251727/

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I doubt Jerry West is a racist but that was an extremely foolish statement he made at the end.

  • red

    @ LA Huey. They didn’t let lebron just walk. miami got a sign and trade from cleveland for him. in return they got a trade exception and draft picks.

  • Zabbah

    That statement is spot on.

  • LA Huey

    red, well, I meant more along the lines of not taking on bad contracts as West mentioned.

  • Thanatos

    @BT
    it’s not so ridiculous. It’s 5 years guaranteed vs 4 years. Even if that players suffers a career ending injury he gets the money. No matter what he gets the money.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    The analogy implies that general manager, who are mostly players, are more equipped to run teams or make personnel decisions than players who actually play basketball. If you think that players are not qualified, educated or smart enough to know how to assemble teams, than the analogy is justified to you. If you don’t, it’s not.
    As for Jerry West being racist, I just read his book and he seems no more racist than the average American citizen. He seemed genuinely bothered by what his black teammates and colleagues endured, and while he chalked up his failure to speak up on their behalf to his personal shyness, he did admit that his failure to act has always bothered him. So, that’s a good sign.
    However, he does like the status quo, as most older people do, and he does have problems with today’s generation of players, as most older players do. That’s more likely at the root of his distaste, as he sees it, and the racial connotations are an unfortunate side effect.
    There you go Lakeshow, now you don’t have to use your own brain.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    It’s also HILARIOUS that this became a discussion of racism only because people who have a problem with the introduction of race into discussions INTRODUCED race into the discussion.
    Seriously, do y’all see the humor? TPeople are so intent on preventing race from being discussed, that they go out of their way to discuss it!
    It’s pretty damn classic.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    damn….there you have it folks.

  • http://slamonline.com Raseven

    Give me a break its an expression and a perfect one for the situation no race involved and he’s totally right

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70K9xSwE50g LakeShow

    Phhewwww, AllenP my hero! Yayyy. Us dummbies donts have to use our little bwains. We just dumbbies so Allen can think of stuff 4 us. Yayyyyyy! Allen YAAAAYY! *Hit my name if you want to see what I look like and sound like when I say this.*

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Just following orders boss.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    LakeShow Posted: Feb.3 at 12:34 pm
    Where’s Allen to come clear this up for our feeble minds…. Is Jerry West racist or not????? I must know!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    And I appreciate that. Thank you. YAYYYYY!

  • hillbilly

    If you don’t believe the U.S. is the most blatantly racist place on earth, then you just haven’t been paying attention. It’s everywhere you look and it’s sickening. Case in point: The other day, I was doing some shopping down at the local Piggly Wiggly and happened to notice that all of the green olives were kept in glass jars while the black olives were kept in (get this) tin cans(!). WTF is up with THAT?
    I mean, why do the BLACK olives have to be kept in a dark, smelly old can while their light-skinned cousins get to live it up in a fancy-ass jar? I’ll tell you why…because this motherf@ckin’ country is racist! Right, Allenp?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^would be a good place to use the ignore option everyone… Sh*t…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Thank you Hillbilly. Thank you kindly.

  • @Deknowz

    The man traded Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol in his prime, whatever he has to say is FACT as far as I’m concerned. lol

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    … strange … Was that the ignore option? Hmmmm…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    He didn’t make that trade, Kupchak made that trade. West actually was with the Grizzlies right before they made that trade. He had resigned when Wallace did the deal, but everybody thought he still pushed it through, although he denies it.

  • bnets

    shaq left the magic to lakers in free agency

  • T-Money

    wow, that’s such terrible advice. dwight howard is not stayin under any circumstances. you can take a chance if your star is on the fence but dwight is clearly not. think the nuggets regret trading melo? what about utah who parted way with deron when it was clear he wasn’t staying? they made out pretty well too! and i wish people would stop saying that superstars are leaving 30 mil on the table. so dwight is going to stop playing ball adter the contract runs out? no, he’ll sign another ginormous contract startign in what would be year 5 of the extended contract. making the absolute most money available is a priority to some but not all. bron, wade and james left money on the table. duncan left money on the table. even gilbert left money on the table so washington could retain jamison. i also do not see it at players gaming the system at all, if anything they’re just being upfront. “hey, i’m leaving this summer. it could be a win-win if you deal me now.” what’s wrong with that? as long as the guy is playing to his abilities – and dwight is – what’s the issue? it’s up to otis to make a managerial decision, the kind of decisions he is paid very well to make.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Damn right….America is still a racist country.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    I agree with you somewhat T-Money.
    However, I don’t like when players set limits on exactly which teams they will sign with. Particularly if the team they want to go to doesn’t have good assets. That seems a tad shady.
    I say if there are no good deals, don’t take a crappy one. If there is a good deal, but maybe not full value, you should consider it strongly.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Lmaoo @ M cho and hillbilly… lakeshow… ugh….

  • http://Www.twitter.com/@starksisawesome Tony Starks

    Dwight Howard and Carmello getting over with no backlash lebron left cleveland for Miami as a free agent had the right to leave Dwight and Carmello leave pretty good situations just because it does not fit there marketing strategy if Dwight leaves Orlando for Brooklyn or Los angeles he will not win a ring he already over rated

  • shutup

    The reason black olives are canned is because they are ripened artificially, (cooked in the can to kill botulism) the glass couldnt withstand the heat, green olives on the other hand don’t undergo the addition of oxygen and are packed in brine, in which the salinity and the pH levels are high and low enough, respectively, to inhibit bacteria growth, they don’t have to go through the addtional step of having to be sealed in metal and cooked. NOW YOU KNOW AND KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE. @DATKID your kinda annoying with the allenp suckfest theres no more on allenp’s nutz because you keep hugging them

  • MikeC.

    I agree with the basketball points West is making. Why take back a turd sandwich in a trade? The Nuggets made out pretty well in the Melo trade because NY had some solid young pieces with reasonable contracts to send back. *Word to D. Walsh* If Dwight’s chosen teams don’t have any desirable pieces to send back to Orlando, then just let Dwight walk and take the cap space. It’s better than taking back bad contracts and getting stuck in cap hell. *Word to S. Layden*

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