Things appear to be changing within the Los Angeles Lakers organization. Team president Jeanie Buss is doing all she can to help right the ship with the franchise on pace to miss the NBA playoffs for a fourth straight year. Along with bringing in Magic Johnson in an advisory role recently, Buss might have an opportunity with another Lakers great in Jerry West.
According to Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News, West could be intrigued at the prospect of returning to the franchise he helped lead to multiple championships as a player and general manager once his contract with the Golden State Warriors expires in July:
Multiple sources indicated to me that West might be intrigued by an offer from the Lakers, but he also feels very connected to the Warriors’ quest for championships.
One of the major factors of the team’s success since moving to the second-largest market in the country was the presence of West. Not only was West an incredible player that helped lead the team to a title in 1972, but he was arguably the best general manager in the league during his time in the front office in Los Angeles.
Proving that his success with the Lakers wasn’t a product of the benefits of being in Los Angeles, West left the organization and helped turn around a struggling Memphis Grizzlies franchise in 2002. Memphis went from one of the worst teams in the Western Conference to a perennial playoff contender. West went on to win NBA Executive of the Year in 2004 for his efforts and retired three years later.
In 2011, West decided to get back to work, joining the Golden State Warriors organization as an executive board member. Since joining the team, the Warriors have been incredibly successful with one NBA title, two NBA Finals appearances, and an NBA-record 73-win season to their credit.
Although the Warriors’ success can’t directly be attributed to West’s presence, it’s safe to say he helped the process of building the Western Conference powerhouse. If the Buss family has an opportunity to bring him back in some capacity, it is definitely a move that could help the process of rebuilding this team back into one of the great franchises in professional sports once again.