Jerry West has long received praise for helping the Los Angeles Lakers identify Kobe Bryant as the superstar talent he was. But according to the logo itself, the move was essentially handed to him on a silver platter.
The Lakers legend was the last guest on Getcha Popcorn Ready with TO & Hatch, where he spoke candidly about how he knew Kobe Bryant was something special mainly because of his maturity and intelligence. But instead of taking credit for the trade that ultimately landed the Mamba, he claims everyone messed up instead.
“Everyone wants to credit me,” West said. “They don’t need to credit me. These are the other people in the league. I can not believe, to this day they would pass such a talent. I can not.”
It sure is a deviation of praise back, if there was such a thing. Jerry West is basically calling out every other team for sniffing out a must-see prospect that he felt was so obvious, at least to him. So in a way, he still deserves that credit, doesn’t he?
The Lakers icon pointed out that this error in judgment for generational talent still occurs to this day, citing Dallas Mavericks prodigy Luka Doncic as a modern example.
“And we see it happening. What was Luka Doncic, the fifth player in the draft? Oh my God. I can’t believe anyone let him go. I can not. He was an only child at 15. He was competing against men in Europe. But not in competition – to excel.
There will always be terrible hiccups on NBA Draft Day. It will never go away. Lakers fans can take comfort in the fact that they won one of the biggest failures in NBA history.