Jerry West Talks Dubs, CP3, Dekker, Ballmer, Lakers

Longtime basketball executive Jerry West surprised many NBA observers earlier this offseason when he decided to leave the Warriors for the Clippers. Speaking to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, West acknowledged that he was sad to leave Golden State and had been very happy working for the Warriors, chalking up his decision to timing.

Although he’s a consultant for the Clippers now, West still views the Warriors as the overwhelming favorite to win another championship in 2018, telling Kawakami that “everyone’s playing for second place right now.”

In addition to sharing his lingering fondness for his old team, West also touched on several other noteworthy topics during his discussion with Kawakami. Here are a few highlights:

On whether he knew Chris Paul would leave when he left the Warriors for the Clippers:

“I felt he was. Yes. I didn’t think he was going to stay there. You just get a sense that some players are going to move, you do. You just get a sense… there was all the talk. I know that Steve [Ballmer] met with him. I think Lawrence [Frank] and Doc [Rivers] both met with him. I did not meet with him or talk with him. I just had the sense when I first started talking to them, I asked them, ‘You may not be able to keep either one of these players, him or Blake Griffin.’ I said, ‘How’s that going to work?’ I think they felt there was a chance for sure that he was going to leave.”

On the Clippers moving on without Paul:

“I know some of the people down there [in Houston] and obviously Mike D’Antoni, he’s a friend of mine, he has a place at the Green Brier, and he’s very high on the players we got. He mentioned to me, he said that he thinks they’ll get to play there more and particularly if Sam Dekker can be healthy, he’s a very good prospect. He’s had two seasons of injuries, but he seems very healthy.

“It also gives Doc a chance as a coach to be able to coach differently, more ball movement. Chris was a ball-dominant point guard. [Not having Paul] encourages more movement. When a coach has to do things a little bit differently, that might be challenging but also might be fun for him. Even though we’ll miss Chris, it’s part of the NBA.”

On Clippers owner Steve Ballmer:

“[In] a lot of ways he reminds me of the kind of owners that you want, somebody who’s really committed to trying to build a team. He’s smart, he lets people do their job, he doesn’t think he’s someone who wants to run the team. He’s given Lawrence and Doc a lot of leeway there and they’re going to hire two new people there in the front office. It’s just… I see some changes from the prior regime there that I think are going to be really positive.

On whether he thought he might return to the Lakers rather than joining the Clippers:

“Absolutely not. I had no contact with the Lakers. Honestly, I would’ve never gone back there even if they would’ve contacted me. Never had any conversations, never had a desire there. I knew that would’ve never happened.”

Be sure to check out Kawakami’s full interview with West for more interesting observations from The Logo.

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6 thoughts on “Jerry West Talks Dubs, CP3, Dekker, Ballmer, Lakers

  1. xscalabr

    We all know he’s pulling the strings there, even if he denies it.

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  2. What in the world is going on with the Lakers and Jerry West? I hate to see this much vitriol between them. I imagine he feels he never got his due for the Kobe and Shaq Lakers. Hopefully the Buss children can mend this bridge, cause it makes no sense for one of the greatest Lakers ever to have no affiliation with the team and much less working for the Clippers

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    • First of all he’s already worked with the Lakers and had tremendous success there….. he could never outdo himself and build on that. He’s an icon with the Lakers.

      Secondly Phil Jackson didn’t want him there, and now Magic wants to run the show and be his own man, so there’s really no room for Jerry West.

      No problem with the Lakers or any animosity… it’s just that it’s Magic’s show now. There’s nothing to fix, it’s just the timing.

      With the Warriors he built a champion, now it’s time for a new challenge…..keep the mind young etc.

      I love Jerry West and as a Warriors fan I’m very thankful for his incredible input and really don’t mind him moving on to the Clippers. Hopefully he builds a winner there. I respect him very much and wish him well.

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      • yoyo137

        Well said, Jerry West is the man and the Lakers were lucky to have him for those years. Time for the Clippers to benefit from his presence now!

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