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Jerry West - An All-Star & a Gentleman

Official NBA Logo

Anyone who has seen this official NBA logo and is a basketball fan at all knows that it depicts Jerry West back in his playing days.


Jerry was the ultimate All-Star and the ultimate southern gentleman. His playing accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but just to give you an idea, here is Jerry's bio on Wikipedia.

I had the privilege of meeting and talking to him several different times. Back in the mid-80's I co-chaired a committee to plan an annual golf tournament/dinner in the Palm Springs area for CPA's and attorneys. We always had a guest speaker - mostly sports personalities but once we even had John Dean, who attended with his beautiful wife Mo.

Anyway, this particular year the Lakers were training at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, so I knew Jerry would be in the area. I contacted the Lakers organization and finally received a confirmation that he would attend. I had the job of sitting with him for dinner and introducing him before he spoke. I was a nervous wreck, of course, but thrilled beyond belief to have this opportunity. He even let me try on his NBA championship ring!

We stayed in touch, and he even spoke to another CPA group about five years later. He always returned phone calls, which is unusual.

Just this past week you may have seen a story in the news about Jerry discussing the heart condition that he has had since his 20's. He played pro basketball all those years without anyone knowing he was suffering from atrial fibrillation. What a guy! He's lucky to be alive!

Anyway, today is Jerry's birthday, and he is 71.


PS - I see that yesterday was a special birthday for Dolores Hope (Bob Hope's widow) - She was 100! Happy Birthday to her too!

Comments (2)


When Jerry West first started playing professional ball, he and his young family bought a house in our neighborhood in West Los Angeles. All of us kids were star-struck.

Great post! How cool to have been able to meet him (and try on the ring!).

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