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NBA legend Jerry West was dissatisfied with Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss’ top five list of figures who had come through the organization.
Buss ranked the most important figures in April: Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson. Buss left West, who spent his entire Hall of Famer career with the Lakers and helped reshape the organization in the front office, off her list.
“I saw the other day Jeanie Buss made a statement, the five most important Lakers, one of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard in my life. I was there a lot of times, had a lot of success,” West told Peter Vecsey on the “Hoop Du Jour Podcast” in a recent episode. “Be curious to know if they would have had that success if I hadn’t been there.
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“And I don’t ever take credit for stuff, I don’t. When I was around, maybe I was just a good luck charm. But I do know, that when this thing fell apart, there was a lot of years where they weren’t very good.”
West was a one-time NBA champion as a player and 14-time All-Star and was the team’s general manager from 1982 to 2000, bringing Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to the team and hiring Jackson as the head coach.
Buss’ list sparked some controversy with many Lakers fans wondering how she left off O’Neal, West and Elgin Baylor.
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