Lakers Sign Jerry West

 
Sept. 21, 1960, Jerry West

Sept. 21, 1960: The Lakers signed rookie Jerry West to a two-year contract.

West played 14 seasons for the Lakers, winning one championship in a remarkable career that helped make basketball a marquee sport in L.A. He might have had a better career after retiring as a player. He had a short stay as the Lakers' coach but made a lasting mark as the team's general manager. West stole Kobe Bryant in a draft-day trade and signed Shaquille O'Neal as a free agent.

The Times speculated that West signed for about $12,000 a year.

Meanwhile, tickets were going fast for the Lakers' preseason appearance the following month against the Boston Celtics in Orange County. But this was long before the Pond was built so the game was scheduled for Anaheim High School.

The Times ran a short story announcing that more than half of the reserved seats had already been sold. Wonder how long it would take the teams to sell out a high school gym today.

–Keith Thursby

 Sept. 21, 1960, Jerry West

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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1 Response to Lakers Sign Jerry West

  1. Native Angeleno says:

    As good as West’s post-playing years were, for the writer to think they were better than his playing years is sacrilege to the fans of Jerry West who saw his miraculous play, game after game, year after year. He wasn’t called Mr Clutch for nothing. Similar to Kobe Bryant, when the game was on the line with 10 seconds to go, everyone knew Jerry would get the ball, dribble in backing up, corkscrew up with about 2 seconds to go and shoot a 20-foot frozen rope to win the game, after game, after game.
    Anyone who would average over 40 points a game in the playoffs would be a miraculous player. I believe to this date, with all the great players on all the great teams throughout all these NBA years, the only one who ever did it was Jerry West.

    Like

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