Already an icon of the NBA, Jerry West will soon have an iconic representation of his likeness outside of Staples Center.
News broke today that the Lakers will honor West by unveiling his statue during the NBA All-Star weekend ceremonies in February. West will join Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky and Oscar De La Hoya as members of the Staples Statue Club. (I’m still trying to wrap my head around the De La Hoya statue…someone please explain this one to me.)
As Kobe Bryant has already said, “It’s about time.”
One could argue that West has been the most important Laker of all-time. From his contributions on the court, where he earned the sick nickname of Mr. Clutch, to his engineering of multiple dynasties as a GM, Jerry West is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest talents and minds to ever participate in the game of basketball.
Modest as ever, West contends that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar should have been the next to be honored with such a prestigious monument.
Widely known for his inability to watch the Lakers play, West rarely enjoyed the championship teams he helped build and almost always watched from the tunnels in the Forum and Staples Center.
In the near future there is no doubt Kobe Bryant will be immortalized in Downtown Los Angeles. Having broken West’s team record for scoring and by continuing to climb the charts in most statistical categories, the argument for greatest Laker of all-time is heating up.