The 77-year-old Hall of Fame guard and two-time NBA Executive of the Year continues to apply his basketball expertise, now as a member of the executive board of the Western Conference finalist Warriors.
DAN PATRICK:It's pretty cool to be the NBA logo. That's one of the greatest nicknames of all time.
JERRY WEST: It's flattering, but honestly, I don't think like that. I'm so happy I was able to live my dreams and be able to do something I absolutely loved. Most people don't get that opportunity.
DP:[How much] do you love the sport?
JW: I loved it. I loved the competition.... When I went to a game, I never even noticed there was anybody in the building. My concentration was ridiculous. All I cared about was winning.
DP:Did you ever play basketball after you retired?
JW: When I stopped playing, I didn't want to touch a basketball. I knew my time was up. I knew I had given everything that I had. I wanted to concentrate on having a more normal life. I kind of got addicted to golf.
DP:When you were GM of the Lakers, could you watch the game?
JW: I spent a lot of nights in the parking lot at the Forum.
DP:Did you feel guilty that you brought only one title to L.A. as a player?
DP:Is that part of why you wanted to win so badly as a GM?
JW: No question.
DP:Do you get a ring if the Warriors win the title?
JW: Yes. I'd love to get another ring.
DP:How many do you have?
JW: I don't know, I've got a couple.
DP:If you don't know how many, then that's a lot.
JW: I think seven. I don't wear them. They're getting bigger. They're so ugly now.
DP:Finish this sentence: If Shaq and Kobe had stayed together ...
JW: I don't think there's any question they'd have won more championships.
DP:It seems that they'll be remembered as much for what they weren't able to accomplish.
JW: You had two completely different personalities. Kobe was a basketball junkie. A perfectionist. Shaquille O'Neal was a big, playful guy. Still, he would just ruin basketball games. If I were a center, I would not have wanted to play against him.
DP:Is Steph Curry the best shooter you've ever seen?
JW: He's an incredible shooter. But he's not only a shooter, he's also a shotmaker. He makes shots other people can't make.
DP:Game on the line, any player in history to shoot a three, who would you choose?
JW: I can't answer that.
DP:Sure you can.
JW: I hate to be braggadocious, but I would love to shoot that.
NBC's Al Michaels told me the sport that he believes is the most challenging to call: "Hockey," said the broadcaster, a Kings season-ticket holder. "It's hard to follow because possession is changing every couple of seconds. It's the hardest sport to see in your brain." ... Former MLB pitcher and current NFL throwing coach Tom House explained why he expects his pupil, Eagles QB Tim Tebow, to improve. "With his year-and-a-half hiatus, he got a chance to put in the proper repetitions," House said. "Now he's programmed to throw more efficiently." ... TNT's Charles Barkley said Floyd Mayweather needs to tone down his bravado: "All of the noise leading up to the fight [against Pacquiao], talking about how much money he makes, took away from how he made a great fighter look average."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
JOHN M. HELLER/GETTY IMAGES (WEST)
VINCENT SANDOVAL/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES (MICHAELS)
ZACH GIBSON/MLIVE.COM/LANDOV (HOUSE)
KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES