Jerry West Reportedly Threatened to Quit if Warriors Traded Klay Thompson

by June 11, 2015

Last summer, there were serious trade negotiations between the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves involving All-Stars Klay Thompson and Kevin Love.

Love, of course, ended up in Cleveland and Thompson stayed put in Oakland.

According to SI, Warriors executive board member Jerry West “put his foot down”—The Logo did this by supposedly threatening to quit his job—in order to halt what was reportedly a done deal:

He advocated for hiring Steve Kerr after things went sour with Mark Jackson. In Kerr, West saw the type of big picture, tempered leader he knew the Warriors needed to make the next step. As he is fond of pointing out, when you don’t have talent, coaching can only do so much. Once you have talent, coaching is everything. […] Perhaps West’s biggest contribution came last summer, though, when, along with Kerr, he adamantly opposed a trade centered around Thompson and Love. West argued that trading Thompson would be an enormous mistake. The Warriors were built on defense and Love, while a skilled offensive player, was a subpar defender. What’s more, West was certain Thompson would continue to improve, giving the Warriors a potential Hall of Fame backcourt for the next decade.


West felt so strongly that, according to one person close to the negotiations, he threatened to resign if the team made the trade. Chances are, West wouldn’t have actually done it—that’s just the way he talks—but when the most successful talent evaluator in league history feels that adamantly about something, it’s probably worth listening. […] Speak to the principles today and everyone says it was a group decision, none more forcefully than West. As is his nature, he takes great pains to deflect any credit, praising the work of (GM Bob Myers) and (team owner Joe Lacob) and the rest. Myers points out that, “It’s a lot easier to make suggestions than decisions.” As for Lacob, he dismisses the topic. “There was never, ever a time when we were going to consider trading Klay in that deal,” he says. “Jerry was strong on that, but so was everybody else.”


This may be true. Then again, a source with knowledge of the negotiations counters that, “The deal was done. And Jerry put his foot down.”

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