Jeanie Buss Shares Dr. Jerry Buss’ Message To Lakers Legend Jerry West
Lakers, Jerry West, Jerry Buss
(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images).

Wednesday was a sad day in the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA family as it was announced that the legendary Jerry West passed away in his home at the age of 86.

West was one of the most important figures in basketball history and specifically with the Lakers, both as a player and executive. The entire basketball world came together on social media to celebrate West’s incredible life, with the Lakers organization, LeBron James and Magic Johnson notably all releasing statements to remember him.

Current Lakers governor Jeanie Buss also took to Instagram to share a message that her late father and long-time franchise owner Dr. Jerry Buss would have had for West, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

When Dr. Buss bought the Lakers in 1979, West had been coaching the team and helped get his new owner acclimated to the NBA. They then paired to bring five championships to L.A. during the “Showtime” era and three more during the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant “Three-peat” era.

Dr. Buss famously tried to get West back into coaching after the organization parted ways with Paul Westhead. West instead spontaneously asked Pat Riley to be the head coach, and the rest was history as the first L.A. dynasty was born.

After West left the Lakers organization in 2000 though, he was an executive with the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors. He tried to return to the Lakers in 2017 after departing from Golden State, but he was not said to be in Jeanie’s vision for the team at the time. He would instead finish his career as a consultant for the L.A. Clippers.

West had a well-documented fallout with Jeanie and the Buss family in the final years of his life with him saying that they revoked his family’s life-time season tickets. Jeanie also made a list of the five most important Lakers and left the Logo off, which he understandably took offense to.

While it’s unfortunate that West and the Buss family never made amends, there’s no denying that he impacted the Lakers’ history as much as anyone so hopefully they will honor him properly this upcoming season.

Pat Riley puts out heartfelt statement to honor Jerry West

Pat Riley is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history and he has Jerry West to thank for making it happen. So as such, Riley was among those to put out a heartfelt statement on Wednesday to pay tribute to the Lakers legend that started his head coaching career.

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