When it comes to basketball, the legendary Jerry West knows what he’s talking about. He’s won executive awards with the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, and joined the executive board of the Golden State Warriors just before they went on their amazing, multi-year playoff run. West is with the Los Angeles Clippers now, and he wants everyone to know how exceptional that organization has been.
West called into the Dan Patrick Show on Monday to talk about the Clippers’ outstanding offseason, and he gave the Clippers and owner Steve Ballmer the highest praise imaginable.
“[Ballmer’s] willing to spend on players, he’s willing to spend on personnel within the front office. ... I've never been around any organization that is better than this one, that's for sure."
West also spent a little time expounding on the Clippers’ two big acquisitions, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. He told Patrick that he had a “very small” role in signing Leonard and trading for George, and he praised the Clippers’ executives. And as you might imagine, West loves both players a lot.
“I try to be completely fair and honest to all the players in the league. But honestly think they’re the two best two-way players in basketball. And to get them in one night is pretty remarkable.”
And he gives due praise to Leonard for making inroads with George, because without his intervention, the Leonard-George Clippers team-up may not have happened.
“Those players talked. And I’m not so sure that maybe if Kawhi hadn’t had some influence on Paul that we would have been able to make a deal with Oklahoma City.”
The Clippers have a lot going for them right now. They have Leonard, George, a strong lineup beyond them, and they have the praise of Jerry West. But West still has plenty of respect for the Lakers. With both teams adding major players this offseason, he’s excited for a season full of tense, heated Clippers-Lakers games.
Jerry West on #Lakers & #Clippers: “There’s arguably 4 of the best, top 7 players in bball on respective tms, so I think the gms here in LA now are going to be fun. Anxious to watch them get after each other. It’ll be more like the playoffs every time we play them.” via @dpshow— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) July 15, 2019
The next NBA season doesn’t start for more than two months, which feels like a lifetime. Why can’t it start now?
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