When the Lakers owner Jeanie Buss made a guest appearance on the “All The Smoke” podcast last month, it stirred up some discussions and controversy, as she listed the Top 5 Lakers of all-time. She named Kareem, Kobe, LeBron, Magic, and Phil Jackson, leaving out a couple of all-time greats. Even though it is tough to break it down to the five best from such a storied franchise, it didn’t stop her from getting some backlash.
One of the first players to speak up was Shaquille O’Neal, defending his case pretty respectfully. But now another great that got left out shared his opinion – the legendary Jerry West was not happy with the list. The Logo appeared on the Hoop Du Jour Podcast and spoke with Pete Vecsey about why he felt disrespected.
“I saw the other day Jeanie Buss made a statement, the five most important Lakers, one of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard in my life. I was there a lot of times, had a lot of success. Be curious to know if they would have had that success if I hadn’t been there. And I don’t ever take credit for stuff, I don’t. When I was around, maybe I was just a good luck charm. But I do know, that when this thing fell apart, there was a lot of years where they weren’t very good.”Jerry West, CBS Los Angeles
West is one of the most influential figures in the history of the Lakers and the whole NBA. From a fantastic playing career, becoming the league’s logo to establishing himself as one of the most successful executives ever. So West has every right to feel offended by being left off the list.
West spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Lakers, notched 14 All-Star appearances, and won the championship in 1972. After that, he served as the general manager and executive vice president from 1982 till 2000. In addition, West was the brain behind the “Showtime” Lakers, the man behind signing Shaquille O’Neal, and a key decision-maker in the Lakers trading for Kobe Bryant in 1996, changing the course of Lakers history dramatically. So when you consider all the things West has done for the Lakers franchise, on and off the court, it is crazy he wasn’t on that Top 5 list.