After spending most of his professional life with the Lakers as a player, coach and general manager, Jerry West has found success elsewhere: in the front offices of the Memphis Grizzlies and, since 2011, with the Golden State Warriors as an executive board member.
But would he really come back to L.A. to join the … Clippers?
The other team is reportedly interested in making him an offer.
The Clippers have explored hiring West in a capacity that could be similar to his role with the Warriors, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. The Clippers have a robust front office already, with Coach Doc Rivers also the team’s president of basketball operations and Lawrence Frank in place.
West is reportedly under contract with the Warriors through July, cracking open the door for other teams to try to woo him. However, Warriors owner Joe Lacob has made it clear he hopes to retain 79-year-old, telling the Bay Arena News Group last month, “We would love him back, and we’ve made that known.”
For the Clippers, adding a figure of West’s stature would serve multiple purposes. He would instantly enhance the team’s credibility and stability, especially now when Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick can become free agents and potentially upend the franchise’s trajectory.
The move would also no doubt upset much of the Los Angeles basketball establishment, and irritate the Lakers – something in which those atop the Clippers would take no small amount of pleasure.
Before Jeanie Buss hired Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka in February to lead the Lakers’ front office, there was casual speculation West might return to the Lakers to guide them into a new era.
While it makes perfect sense for the Clippers to chase West, just as when they pursued Kobe Bryant in free agency in 2004, it’s less clear whether West would be interested in them. He remains a Los Angeles resident, shuttling back and forth to the Bay Area to be with the Warriors.