You have come to the Philippines Edition, for other ESPN editions, click here. Moreover, if All-Star center Bam Adebayo returns to action in Game 4, it will be the cherry on the cake for the Heat. Frankly, I wish people would leave him alone.". [13] The Lakers won 46 games, and in the 1970 NBA Playoffs, they narrowly beat the Phoenix Suns in seven games and swept the Hawks in four, setting up the first NBA Finals between the Lakers and the rugged New York Knicks, led by Hall-of-Famers, such as Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, and Walt Frazier. [44] With his injured hands, West still hit nine of his 19 shots, but was outplayed by Walt Frazier, who scored 36 points and 19 assists and was credited with several crucial steals on Lakers guard Dick Garrett. [13], In the post-season, the Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls in a four-game sweep,[47] then went on to face the Milwaukee Bucks, and defeated them in six games. He would sit by himself and stare into space. [78], Early in his career, West's West Virginian roots made him target for some mild jeering. [13] After ending the regular season with 49 wins, L.A. played the Baltimore Bullets in the first round of the 1965 NBA Playoffs, but then team captain Baylor suffered a career-threatening knee injury. "In the playoffs, the best players are supposed to play better. [5], In 2002, West became the general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies. [35] While West himself got on well with the recruit, Chamberlain often argued with team captain Elgin Baylor and had a poor relationship with Van Breda Kolff. He explained his decision with the desire for exploring something new: "After being a part of the Laker's success for so many years, I have always wondered how it would be to build a winning franchise that has not experienced much success. [80][81], This article is about the basketball player. [63] In 2015, the Warriors won their first championship in 40 years; the championship was the seventh earned by West while serving as a team executive. [43] However, more frustration awaited West in Game 5, when Reed pulled his thigh muscle and seemed out for the series; instead of capitalizing on a double-digit lead and reeling off an easy win, the Lakers committed 19 second-half turnovers, and the two main scorers Chamberlain and West shot the ball only three and two times, respectively, in the entire second half and lost 107-100 in what was called one of the greatest comebacks in NBA Finals history. [22], In West's second NBA season, the Lakers could only make limited use of Baylor, who was called up by the U.S. Army Reserves and could play only 48 games. Frazier later commented: "The man's crazy. Jimmy became only the third player in NBA Finals history to register a 40-point triple-double. [10] Further awards were All-American, Southern Conference Tournament MVP and Southern Conference Player of the Year and Athlete of the Year. Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is also the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team (1969). [51][52], The 1973–74 NBA season was to be West's last as a player. He was also a member of the first five NBA All-Defensive Teams (one second, followed by four firsts), which were introduced when he was 32 years old. He was also a member of the first five NBA All-Defensive Teams (one second, followed by four firsts), which were introduced when he was 32 years old. [56] In the 1976–77 season, West became coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. [35] Coach Van Breda Kolff was concerned about the drain at the guard positions after losing Clark, and especially after losing Goodrich in the expansion draft to the Phoenix Suns. Before Game 1, West privately complained to Bill Russell of exhaustion, but then the Lakers guard scored 53  points on Boston in a close two-point win. After losing in the 2011 Finals, James reached out to West to discuss how he coped with losses during his career. [38] Game 4 saw Celtics guard Sam Jones hit an off-balance buzzer beater to tie the series,[39] but in Game 5, the Lakers struck back and won by 13 points; however, they suffered a major blow when West – who scored 39 points and by far led all players in scoring during the entire series – lunged for a meaningless late-game ball and seriously pulled his hamstring: it was immediately visible that the injury would not heal until the end of the series. [5][8] He was so small, frail, and weak that he needed many vitamin injections from his doctor and was kept apart from children's sports, to prevent him from getting seriously injured. [7], West was an outgoing and aggressive child in his youth. [13] Winning 45 games, the Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks in a close seven-game series, and yet again met the Boston Celtics in the 1966 NBA Finals. I want to help make a difference. In the 1972 NBA Finals, the Lakers again met the New York Knicks. Jimmy Butler had an all-time performance tonight, — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 5, 2020. Baylor's tip-in attempt was thwarted by Sam Jones. [40] As after Baylor's injury years before, West stepped into the void, leading the NBA in scoring average with 31.2  points per game, and averaging 4.6  rebounds and 7.5  assists per game, earning him his first of four All-Defensive First Team votes and another All-NBA First Team berth after two Second Team years. The NBA described West as "obsessive perfectionism, unabashed confidence, and an uncompromising will to win... a level of intensity so high it could melt lead". [41] In Game 3, DeBusschere hit a mid-range jump shot with three seconds left to put the Knicks ahead 102–100, and the Lakers had no time-outs left. However, Philly decided to let go of Butler and signed Tobias Harris to a max deal. [5], West attended East Bank High School in East Bank, West Virginia from 1952 to 1956. Butler racked up two blocks and two steals to cap off his fabulous triple-double night. However, in 1951 his older brother, David, was killed in action in the Korean War, and the trauma turned West into a shy and introverted boy. To get the center, the Lakers traded West's backcourt partner Archie Clark, starting center Darrall Imhoff and backup forward Jerry Chambers to Philadelphia. [6] West's father physically abused him, and West has stated that for a time he slept with a loaded shotgun under his bed out of fear that he might have to kill his father in self-defense. He was named All-Star, All-NBA and All-Defense First Teamer and voted 1972 All-Star Game MVP. Working as a player-scout for three years, West was named general manager of the Lakers before the 1982–83 NBA season. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James routinely finds himself playing in June, and NBA legend Jerry West believes that criticism of his less-than-spectacular NBA Finals record is unjust. I did. [5], West made himself available for the 1960 NBA draft, and he was drafted with the second overall pick by the Minneapolis Lakers, shortly before the team relocated to Los Angeles. [5] He had a jump shot with a release the NBA lauded as "lightning quick", and was known for making baskets late in the game, earning him the nickname "Mr. But West, who had scored 38  points in a Game 4 win, had sprained his ankle and did not play at full strength the rest of the series. If that happens, West will feel a kinship with James that few can relate to. Zero. [13], In the 1968 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls and the Warriors to set up yet another Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals; it was considered a match of size versus speed, as the Lakers had nobody to guard Celtics coach/center Bill Russell or forward John Havlicek close to the basket, but the Celtics in return had difficulties guarding prolific L.A. outside shooters Baylor, West and fellow guard Gail Goodrich. [11] In his freshman year (1956–57), West was a member of the WVU freshman squad that achieved a perfect record of 17 wins without a loss over the course of the season;[11] other team members included Jay Jacobs and Willie Akers. This guy does everything, and he's competitive as hell. "I don't want to sound like Donald Trump, but it's hard for me to believe someone doesn't recognize his greatness. The book has had tremendous critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times bestseller. [45], Before the 1971–72 NBA season, West was smarting from his frequent injuries and losses and considered retirement. [21], The Lakers won 54 regular-season games and secured a first-round bye in the 1962 NBA Playoffs. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, a squad that was inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Can Jimmy Butler and the Heat make a comeback in the series or not? [19] This team perennially had strong forwards and guards, but was constantly weak at center, giving them a disadvantage against the Boston Celtics with their Hall-of-Fame center, Bill Russell. [53] West wanted to re-negotiate his contract and keep playing, however, he said Cooke "basically told my agent to go to hell. [36] In return, the center blasted Van Breda Kolff as "the dumbest and worst coach ever". October 5, 2020 Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles while defended by Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the third quarter of game three of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. [21], West's all-round game and attitude is maybe best expressed in his statistically most spectacular game: he once was credited with 44  points (16 of 17 shots from the field, 12 of 12 free throw attempts) with 12  rebounds, 12  assists, and (unofficially counted) 10 blocked shots, thus scoring a non-official ultra-rare quadruple double. Jerry West (2) Lakers de Los Angeles 5 avril 1965: Bullets de Baltimore: Playoffs 1965, finale, division Ouest: 2 118-115 16 38 .42 – – – 20 21 .95 5 9 – – 32 points en deuxième mi-temps. [13] West became known especially for hitting important late-game shots, and Lakers' announcer Chick Hearn named him "Mr. He said that three times after Finals defeats he wanted to quit the game. "I think it bothers me in the fact that's how competitive I am," James said. His 28.7  points per game eclipsed the 25.4 by Baylor, who stated that he suffered from knee problems. He's been to the Finals six straight times. It was particularly frustrating because I was playing so poorly that the team overcame me. While Jimmy’s valiant effort did cut the Lakers lead to 1 game, this will all be in vain if the Heat do not capitalize on this opportunity. And West told LeBron how rewarding overcoming the scrutiny can be. He spoke with a high pitched voice that became even shriller when he became excited so that Lakers captain Elgin Baylor dubbed West "Tweety Bird". [42] As the three-point line had not been introduced yet, the shot just tied the game. [71] Finally, the NBA logo itself is modeled after West's silhouette. [77] His first wife Martha Kane recalled that her husband often had difficulties opening up to her. [5] The Lakers were captained by Hall-of-Fame forward Elgin Baylor, who was complemented by centers Jim Krebs and Ray Felix; forwards Rudy LaRusso and Tom Hawkins; and guards Rod Hundley (from West Virginia, like West), Frank Selvy, and Bobby Leonard. [13] As of 2011, West holds 12 WVU all-time records. He played West as a guard, in contrast to West's college days as a forward. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: the Heat won’t go down easy. He averaged 24.8 points per game and 13.3 rebounds. However, West had also injured his right hand and received several manual injections,[41] and Reed famously hobbled up court before Game 7: the Knicks center scored the first four  points, and inspired his team to one of the most famous playoff upsets of all time. [10], In his final collegiate season (1959–60) West enjoyed several career highs, such as scoring 29.3 points per game, a 134 season-assists, 16.5 rebounds per game, and a shooting average of 50.4% from the field, 76.6% from the free throw line. [13] Among retired players, only Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain surpass his 27.0 points per game average.


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