The sports world is grieving over this profound loss

Fitzgerald Whitney, Los Angeles Times, CC BY 4.0,, via Wikimedia Commons

Americans have an obsession with professional sports. 

But sports leagues did not become successful overnight, as years of diligence and hard work have put them on the pedestal they enjoy today. 

And the sports world is grieving over this profound loss. 

NBA legend and Lakers icon Jerry West dies at the age of 86

As it stands, the NBA remains the world’s premier professional basketball league. 

Experts agree that the NBA achieved this greatness due to increased viewership in the 1970s when the Los Angeles Lakers became the dominant franchise. 

Los Angeles Point Guard Jerry West helped lead this ascension to greatness.

He led the Lakers to an NBA Championship in 1972 and appeared in 14 consecutive all-star games along the way. 

Many attribute West’s dominance to the rise of the Lakers franchise, which ranks among the most valuable sports franchises in the world. 

Jerry West became such an undeniable force that the NBA used his likeness for its logo, which it still uses to this day. 

Following his playing career, West became the head coach of the Lakers for two years before joining the Lakers as a top executive.  

During his tenure as an executive, the Lakers went on to win six championships with the help of greats like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabar. 

However, on June 12, 2024, Jerry West passed away at the age of 86. 

Soon after the news of West’s passing broke, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years,” Silver wrote. “He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments.”

“Jerry’s four decades with the Lakers also included a successful stint as a head coach and a remarkable run in the front office that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest executives in sports history,” Silver added in his statement. 

But West’s legacy goes far beyond the game of basketball and the NBA. 

In 2019, then-president Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to West. 

This award represents the highest honor that a President can bestow on a civilian in the United States. 

Jerry West represents a golden era in America and American sports  

Without Jerry West, many agree that today’s NBA would look completely different. 

However, Jerry West played in a much different era.  

When he played, players respected America and did not expect millions of dollars for the smallest of tasks. 

Basketball was a true team sport back then, and players like Jerry West were just happy to have the chance to make money while playing a game that they loved.

Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.