With the Los Angeles Lakers currently experiencing their worst season in franchise history, some fans of the team would like to see the purple and gold bring back the legendary Jerry West to try and get things headed back in the right direction.
West, who is now a consultant with the Golden State Warriors, was the architect of many championship Lakers teams, and he famously managed to sign Shaquille O’Neal and trade for a rookie Kobe Bryant all in one summer, so, naturally, fans would be happy to see him back where he spent the best years of his career.
However, in an interview with 95.7 The Game, West said that a return to Los Angeles “would not happen” as he simply “wouldn’t be asked to go back there.”
Here’s a transcript of the short Lakers-related conversation on the radio show:
RADIO SHOW HOST:
Would you ever consider going back to the Lakers if you were asked?
Well, you know, first of all, I wouldn’t be asked to go back there, OK. That would not happen.
RADIO SHOW HOST:
Well, it just wouldn’t happen. Trust me. I think I’m really content up there with the Warriors. I love the people there. It’s fun to be around.
It’s strange that West feels so adamant that he would never be invited back to L.A., especially seeing as his son, Ryan, is the assistant director of scouting for the Lakers.
West left the Lakers on his own accord in 2000, in part because of his relationship – or lack thereof – with then head coach Phil Jackson. He then became the general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies, and while he left the organization before Pau Gasol was traded to the Lakers in 2008, he was still rumored to be linked to the move in some capacity from behind the scenes.
Current Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was mentored by West and the pair still communicate to this day.