Zeke from Cabin Creek

“I enjoy winning, but more importantly I enjoy the people I’m around.”
Jerry West

Zeke from Cabin Creek

Rarely, a player will come along “once in a generation” that is so good, willful, big, strong, smart that they dominate their entire career. I think the National Basketball Association has seen only two: Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James.

What if I were to tell you that there is one man: who was excellent for 50 years?

When Jerry West joined the Lakers he was a shy kid from West Virginia. Embarrassed by his back hills accent, the players mocked him and called him Zeke From Cabin Creek.

By the time he was done playing, Chick Hearn called him Mr. Clutch. His silhouette became the NBA logo and he was the only player in the history of the NBA (true to this day) that won the MVP award in the Finals … on the losing team!

When he stopped as a player, he moved to the front office. He was the General Manager for the Lakers during the 80’s with five championships. The Showtime Lakers with three Hall of Fame players (Magic, the Cap and James Worthy) were a great time with all-time personal records.

He was the GM that put together Kobe (drafted him at age 17) with Shaq and, believe it or not, Phil Jackson. They won three in a row, losing the fourth in the Finals. Kobe, Shaq, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry — I think they will (or should be) in the Hall of Fame.

By the time he left the Lakers, that team had been in the NBA finals half of the time. 50%! True greatness.

The Lakers, all time, have been to the Finals 31 times. The Celtics 21, Chicago Bulls 6.

Jerry West went to the Grizzlies. And then, about five years ago, he went to the front office of the Golden State Warriors. I remember thinking, what is Jerry doing over there? Those guys suck!

This week we’ll see the Warriors break the single season win record at 73. We’ll see Kobe retire as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Jerry West: excellence for a lifetime!

Oh yeah, who holds the all-time highest scoring average for a Finals? Jerry West at 46.3 points average in 1965.

Zeke from Cabin Creek

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