Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West has been in the news quite a lot recently. The current Golden State Warriors consultant may not stay in that role for long however as the Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly interested in bringing him in to the same position.
It has long been rumored that West desired a return to the Lakers, the franchise he helped make great as general manager. West was responsible for helping to build both the Showtime-era Lakers as well as the Kobe-Shaq era of the early 2000s.
West appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and spoke about returning to the Lakers, admitting that he would’ve liked to end his career there (transcription via Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times):
“Sometimes I thought that in my life that maybe that might be something that I can revisit, or they would want me to revisit,” West said. “But that didn’t happen. At times, I don’t say I was disappointed, but it kind of sent me a message that they wanted to go elsewhere, which is fine. But to say that I wouldn’t have liked to ended my career there, that wouldn’t necessarily be true either.”
When Jeanie Buss decided to shake up the Lakers front office back in February, West’s name was thrown around as a potential piece of the new regime. Magic Johnson would take over as president of basketball operations and Rob Pelinka came on as general manager. Ultimately the front office decided that West simply wasn’t the way they wanted to go.
West’s interests in returning to the Lakers franchise make sense. Not only is he a legend of the team, but his son Ryan works in the front office. Furthermore, West still lives in Los Angeles and travels back and forth to fulfill his duties with the Warriors. At 79 years old, West would likely prefer not to have to do that anymore.
In the same interview, West noted that he did meet with the Clippers. As much as it would hurt Lakers fans to see West helping their rivals, it may be the best move for West as his career winds down.