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Lakers legend Jerry West turns 75

May 28, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers legend Jerry West celebrates is 75th birthday Tuesday.
Lakers legend Jerry West celebrates is 75th birthday Tuesday. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images…)

Lakers legend Jerry West turned 75 years old Tuesday.

West, who is currently an executive with the Golden State Warriors, spent his entire playing career with the Lakers from 1960-1974.

The Hall of Fame guard led the Lakers to the title in 1971-72; the team won a record 33-straight games along the way.

West served as the Lakers' head coach from 1976-1979 but may have made his greatest impact on the Lakers as general manager from 1982 to 2000.

In 1996, West signed Shaquille O'Neal and traded for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant -- setting up the initial championship three-peat starting in 2000. Bryant would go on to win two more titles with the Lakers.

In addition to his 1972 championship, West won NBA Finals MVP in 1969 -- despite the Lakers losing to the Boston Celtics.

West was originally drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1960 with the second overall pick. He was a 14-time All-Star, the 1970 scoring champion and the 1972 All-Star MVP.

He made his mark as a player, being named to the All-NBA First Team 10 times, and in the front office -- winning executive of the year twice. He scored 25,192 points over his career, a 27 per game average along with 6.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds.

West's silhouette is immortalized in the NBA's logo. His number 44 jersey stands in the rafters at Staples Center. recognized his birthday with the message, "Happy 75th birthday to Lakers legend, 'Mr. Clutch,' Jerry West."


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