Jerry West: Clippers ‘Really Stuck’ Prior to Blake Griffin Trade

Jerry West urged the LA Clippers to trade Blake Griffin in late January, believing the frachise was “really stuck.”

West, a front-office advisor to owner Steve Ballmer, says the Clips were going “nowhere” prior to shipping Griffin to Detroit in a blockbuster swap.

West, 79, didn’t blink when trading a superstar the Clippers had recently given a five-year, $171 million contract extension.

Per the NY Times:

“Don’t be afraid to make that tough decision if you need to,” Ballmer recalled West telling him.

“No one wants to do that, particularly with someone like Blake Griffin,” West says now. “It was very difficult for everyone, especially Steve, because he really liked Blake personally. But this franchise was really stuck. There was nowhere for it to go. You have to figure out how far away you really are and how we can get there.”

If that view makes West cold, too, he is prepared to absorb the criticism, responding with one of his pet phrases: “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.”