He 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, the legendary Jerry 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. Unsparing in its self-assessment and honesty, West by West is far more than a sports memoir: it is a profound confession and a magnificent inspiration.
A pressure-embracing superstar with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1960s and 1970s, West (called "Mr. Clutch") was so revered that the NBA used his silhouette for its famed logo. After a legendary Hall of Fame playing career, West became the Lakers' general manager, helping to assemble squads that won eight world championships in the 1980s and 2000s. Such lofty accomplishments did little to abate a self-destructive competitive spirit and crippling bouts of depression, the results of a miserable childhood in West Virginia. West's beloved older brother, David, was killed in the Korean War; their father regularly beat the skinny, younger, West, inspiring a murderous, unforgiving hatred. "And the real enemy is myself, " writes West, in this candid and self-reflecting autobiography. That willingness to share, however, extends little beyond his tortured soul, as he holds back in detailing his occasionally tense relationships with coaches like Phil Jackson and Pat Riley and storied players such as Kobe Bryant (who declined to be interviewed for the book). West's reluctance to detail his dealings with others coupled with the authors' anecdotal style lead to a lack of perspective and narrative heft that doesn't befit the rich, complex life of such an iconic sports figure. 16 pages color photos, 14 b&w photos.
Please read. Its very necessary for someone who doesn't think they accomplished enough. To think one of the greatest players had so many demons. Enough said.
West by West
Great story! Thank you Jerry, for reminding us it's ok to be human. You made a 52 yr old man and long time fan cry. I want to live!
West by West
Very enjoyable and insightful book about a great and truly dedicated professional athlete, my basketball hero growing up, who I tried to emulate as a basketball player.