There are some tickets left to see Jerry West discuss his memoir with Peter Guber tomorrow, Oct 18, at Track 16 at Bergamot Station. Get ’em here.
Here’s a link to a Q&A the Los Angeles Times did with West. Here’s an excerpt:
Kobe Bryant worked out for you at Inglewood High that year, with the great defenderMichael Cooper guarding him. At the end, you said, “I’ve seen enough.” What did you see?
“Drafting high school players that high back then was not in vogue, but he was such an incredibly talented kid who could not just run fast and jump high . . . it was his joy for the game. He’d die on that court. It was so easy to see that. I felt he’d help us on our quest to get Shaquille, and be a tremendous piece — the prince in waiting. I remember telling Jerry the night of the draft, ‘We might’ve got the No. 1 player in the draft [at No. 13].’ He is a player for the decades.”
(During this interview, West said his team-building strategy was based on “looking for good fits . . . it’s about talent, but [also] how that talent fits together, judging how the talent will mature.” He said he retains “a special spot in my heart” for former coach Pat Riley, who led the team to four titles in theMagic Johnson–Kareem Abdul-Jabbar era.)
You write that coach Phil Jackson “absolutely had no respect” for you, and that as your “incredible feeling for the Lakers began to wane” in the late 1990s, in hindsight, you “would have left shortly after [Jackson] arrived,” in 1999. Why was that relationship so bad?
“I told Jerry Buss to hire him. The only thing I cared about was winning, but you want a relationship with your coach. There was no relationship. You felt, ‘This is not the way we’ve operated, and we’ve won without him.’ You can’t win without great players. As good as Phil is, he might improve a team with bad players, but he wasn’t going to win. I felt underappreciated by leadership, and leadership is ownership. As we left the Forum to Staples Center, I’d say, ‘What am I doing here? What am I doing to myself?’ Destructive feelings, a different drama every day. Leaving was the biggest relief of my life. They had just won a championship, and would win two more. It was time for me to go.”
Next Tuesday with Jerry West in conversation with Peter Guber should be fun. The whole NBA contract issues getting to you? Come get your fix.
Magic Johnson and Jerry West, in a Los Angeles Times piece debate their favorite all time Lakers teams. Video in the Los Angeles Times link also. Here’s an excerpt:
Even if it didn’t mark his first NBA title or even first one against the Celtics, Magic Johnson cherishes the 1987 NBA Finals the most. His junior hook that clinched Game 4 against the Boston Celtics never escapes his memory.
Even if he didn’t even play on this championship team, Jerry West cherishes the 1985 NBA Finals the most. That team accomplished for the first time what no other Lakers team, including his own, could ever do: beat the Boston Celtics.
We’re pleased to be hosting Jerry West on October 18 at Track 16 at Bergamot Station. He’ll be in conversation with Peter Guber discussing his memoir West by West. Ticket info here.
Video below from the Los Angeles Times, and here’s an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that West’s autobiography, “West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life,” sheds light on his complex and torn personality. As noted by the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami, who received an advance copy, the book apparently features West’s blunt honesty about his relationships within the NBA and on his own psyche.
–West expressed concerns about Phil Jackson dating executive vice president Jeanie Buss, daughter of owner Jerry Buss. Jackson apparently never greeted West at work. And West confirmed Roland Lazenby’s reporting in the Chicago-Sun Times that detailed Jackson kicking West out of the locker room during the 1999-2000 season.
“So one of the problems I had with Phil was this,” West wrote. “His office was right near mine and when he would arrive in the morning, he would walk right past and never even bother to wave or duck his head in to say hello.
“He would later say that he felt the need to stake out his territory, that on top of that he was ’a wack job,’ but I am sure it was more than that.”
“Phil and I had no relationship,” West writes. “None. He didn’t want me around and had absolutely no respect for me–of that, I have no doubt.”
–West felt his relationship with Buss changed when the Lakers moved out of the Forum in 1999 to Staples Center, and Buss was around less and less.
“The close nature of our relationship began to change, and not only did I feel more and more unappreciated, or under-appreciated,” West wrote, according to Kawakami, “but my own personal demons, rooted in my childhood, were threatening me.”
–West laments “how unwilling Kobe was to defer to Shaq in any way.”
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
8pm (Reception 6:30-7:30pm)
in conversation with Peter Guber
discussing his memoir, West By West
IF SOLD OUT, THERE MAY BE A FEW STANBY TICKETS
AT THE DOOR TO PURCHASE IN THE EVENT OF NO-SHOWS
Track 16 at Bergamot Station
Santa Monica, CA
Jerry West is one of basketball’s towering figures: “Mr. Clutch,” who mesmerized his opponents and fans; the coach who began the Lakers’ resurgence in the 1970s; the general manager who helped bring “Showtime” to Los Angeles, creating a championship-winning force that continues to this day.
Now, for the first time, West tells his story-from his tough childhood in West Virginia, to his unbelievable college success at West Virginia University, his 40-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his relationships with NBA legends like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant. His long-awaited book West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life is far more than a sports memoir.
Peter Guber is Chairman and CEO of the multimedia Mandalay Entertainment Group. Prior to Mandalay, Guber was Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Chairman and CEO of Polygram Entertainment, Co-Founder of Casablanca Record & Filmworks and President of Columbia Pictures. Guber produced or executive produced (personally or through his companies) films that garnered five Best Picture Academy Award nominations (winning for Rain Man) and box office hits that include The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Batman, Flashdance and The Kids Are All Right. Peter Guber is the Owner and Co-executive Chairman of the NBA franchise, the Golden State Warriors. He is as a weekly entertainment and media analyst for Fox Business News and a full professor at UCLA. Guber serves on the board of directors of Demand Media and is Co-Founder of Geek Chic Daily, a daily email newsletter with inside information on technology & apps, video games, comics, TV & film. Peter Guber is a noted author with works including “Inside The Deep” and “Shootout: Surviving Fame and (Mis)Fortune in Hollywood.” Guber wrote the cover article for the Harvard Business Review titled,” The Four Truths of the Storyteller” and has also authored op-ed pieces for the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Guber recently released his third book, Tell To Win – Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story.
$20 Live Talks Los Angeles with Jerry West, 8pm (doors open at 7:30pm)
$40 also includes West’s book
$95 includes pre-event reception (6:30-7:30pm), and the book
Track 16 at Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Bldg C-1
Santa Monica, CA 90404