Jerry West, NBA Legend And Logo, Passes Away At 86

NBA legend Jerry West, whose silhoutte serves as the league’s logo and whose name is synonymous with the Los Angeles Lakers, has died. He was 86.Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

“Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86,” according to the statement by the Clippers. “His wife, Karen, was by his side.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver called West a genius on and off the court.

“I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life,” Silver said in a statement. “On behalf of the NBA, we send our deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife, Karen, his family and his many friends in the NBA community.”

West is one of the NBA’s 50 greatest ever, a guard out of Cabin Creek, W.Va., who reached the Finals an astounding nine times, losing eight of them.

He then spent nearly 20 years in the Lakers’ front office, assembling the Magic Johnson-led Showtime teams that won multiple titles.

“Jerry’s four decades with the Lakers also included a successful stint as a head coach and a remarkable run in the front office that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest executives in sports history,” Silver said. “He helped build eight championship teams during his tenure in the NBA — a legacy of achievement that mirrors his on-court excellence.”

Per NBC News:

West’s impact on pro basketball can be seen every time an official league statement appears on NBA letterhead or someone slips on a piece of NBA merchandise.

The red-white-and-blue logo, designed in 1969 by branding guru Alan Siegel, remains as one of the most enduring images in North American sports.

Siegel’s friend and noted sports journalist Dick Schaap handed him a file of NBA pictures and an image of West — dribbling with his left hand and driving to the hoop — jumped out at him.

“I always admired him, but I liked the picture because it was a nice vertical and had this motion to it,” Siegel told in 2021. “I was a fan of his and he was one of those people who had an important history in the NBA.”

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