Longtime Lakers and Grizzlies executive Jerry West is now a part of the Warriors' front office, the team's head consultant under owner Joe Lacob. West recently appeared on KBNR in San Francisco to discuss the Warriors' disappointing 2011/12 season, his optimism for the coming year, and his thoughts on the new-look Lakers. Here are a few highlights from West, courtesy of Sports Radio Interviews:
On why the Warriors underachieved in 2011/12:
"Last year the season was kind of cobbled, thrown together and the teams that were going to be good were the teams that had veteran players because they had been there before. They had played together before, knew each other’s personality and probably didn’t have a coaching change."
On the improvements the team has made over the last few months:
"I look at our backcourt and I say to myself, 'Oh my gosh, what a change from over a year ago.' We added Jarrett Jack, a very solid player and a productive player; Klay Thompson who is going to be a terrific player in this league; Steph Curry is back and healthy. And then I look up front and say, 'Oh my gosh, we went from a midget team to [one that's] big and strong.' I’m excited about all of those things."
On the additions of big men Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli:
"[Bogut]'s a tremendous player. He led the league in blocked shots a couple of years ago, I think, but he is probably the best passing center in basketball, and he’s a big, tough guy. He really knows how to play. I just look at his size and the Ezeli kid, who we think is going to be a terrific young backup — can you imagine going off a screen with guys that size?"
On whether the Lakers will live up to the hype:
"I think they’ve added some interesting pieces down there and I would never discount any team with Kobe Bryant on it. I would never do that. But I think it’s going to be a bigger challenge and I think defensively they will still be challenged…. On paper, they look terrific."