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Jerry West


Q&A


JERRY WEST’S retired No. 44 Los Angeles Lakers jersey hangs in the rafters at Staples Center. He was known in his playing days as “Mr. Clutch,” and his likeness was the inspiration for the NBA logo. The 10-time All-NBA First Teamer won an elusive NBA title in 1972, but he cherishes his gold medal from the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome more. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980 as a player, and his Olympic team—which was comprised solely of amateurs and won by an average of 42.4 points per game—was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2010. West has enjoyed an equally impressive


career as an NBA executive. After three-year stints as a coach and later a scout with the Lakers, he became their general manager from 1982 through 2000, winning four cham- pionships with the likes of Magic Johnson and Showtime, as well as Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. He left the Lakers in what would be the midst of a three-peat to tackle a more challenging endeavor, joining the Memphis Grizzlies as their general manager in 2002. West won his second Executive of the Year award in 2004, before retiring in 2007. Only the West Virginia native couldn’t stay away from basketball, and he is now applying his golden touch to the Golden State Warriors. West accepted a position as an executive board member with the Warriors in 2011. West’s love for golf is almost as strong as his love for basketball. He picked up the sport as a rookie in the NBA and attacked it with his relentless work ethic and drive. West became a plus-handicap, once shooting a 63 at Bel-Air Country Club. Now a self-described frustrated hacker striving to reach his previous form, the 74-year- old has been the executive director of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera since 2010.


It just has one of the most dynamic effects on people in terms of how you really feel about yourself, about your golf game, and the confi dence level that you need to play is amazing.


32 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2013


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