Remember back when the majority of us wanted the Golden State Warriors to trade Klay Thompson for then-Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love?
I mean, there were people openly saying that not making the move would be stupid and I may or may not have been one of the people saying it.
So yeah, I — and many others — were wrong.
Jerry West, as one of the people reportedly quietly supporting keeping Thompson behind the scenes, was right. And given that there was a 2-2 split among West, coach Steve Kerr, owner Joe Lacob, general manager Bob Myers that potentially history-altering decision speaks volumes about West’s influence — yes, he has “only” been a “consultant”, but his experience and opinion carry so much weight that his input (and, sure, threat to resign) ended up playing a major role in the direction of this franchise.
It’s hard not to think about that move in particular after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in two of the last three NBA Finals, but it is one of many that have reportedly had West’s hands all over it and a clear exemplar of how integral West has been to the success in building what is already becoming one of the NBA’s greatest dynasties.
And now that he has helped build the juggernaut, he is reportedly off to take on a new one: getting the L.A. Clippers
out of the second round to the next level.
Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum reported earlier tonight that West would be leaving the Warriors to join the L.A. Clippers in the same “consultant” role (or some other nameless position in which he can use his Jedi mind tricks on NBA executives around the league).
West told ESPN that he has not yet signed a contract with the Clippers, but knew Monday night would be his final game with the Warriors.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 15, 2017
The reason for West leaving the Warriors should be obvious: the guy clearly likes a challenge and the type of work he does is essentially done with the Warriors, especially after they’ve landed Kevin Durant and won a second title in three years. And Jim Park of the Sheridan Blog raised another potential issue: he’s apparently not a fan of the league having one dominant team.
Jerry West leaving the Warriors has zero surprise factor. I mean, the guy openly said he'd like to leave if he can. pic.twitter.com/FuJdGlnf7v— Jim Park (@SheridanBlog) June 15, 2017
However, the more interesting nugget from McCallum’s story might be the idea of a little tension developing between West and the Warriors brass.
West had been in touch with the Clippers, particularly owner Steve Ballmer, over the last couple of months after it started to become evident that he and the Warriors were ending a relationship that had begun in 2011.
Sources say that a strain had developed between West and the ownership group, which is headed by hedge-fund legend Joe Lacob and Hollywood heavyweight Peter Guber. But West said he would not address those reports. One thing is clear: It was his decision to leave.
That might not exaggerated or completely false, but we might never know either and, really, I’m not sure it matters much: West has done plenty for the Warriors to deserve our respect and admiration, which is what we should never forget.
The moment he joined the Warriors I was excited and he has done nothing to demonstrate that my excitement was premature. He’s a living legend at this point and I’m just happy the Warriors got him when they did, whether you most value Love, Durant, or Harrison Barnes.
Best of luck to you, Logo.