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Heisler: Jerry West and the Clippers bring it all back home, almost

By in Press Enterprise on June 16, 2017

By Mark Heisler

If Lakerdom loved the idea of bringing Jerry West back to the team he played for so brilliantly and ran so expertly, he missed by about 50 feet, which is how far their dressing room is from the Clippers in the Staples Center hall.

Who’d have thunk it?

Not me. I wrote a lot of columns suggesting the wisdom of bringing West back before and after the Lakers fired Mitch Kupchak (oh yeah, and Jim Buss).

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As good a nuts-and-bolts GM as Kupchak was, it would have been good to have West’s cachet and daring in Mitch’s mentor.

There was even more reason to bring him back after the arrival of Magic Johnson, who has enough cachet but no front office experience (oh yeah, and GM Rob Pelinka, a player agent with no more experience).

I soon heard the Lakers had no plans to hire West. It sounded like the same deal it had been with Jerry Buss, a devoted fan of West who nonetheless left him sitting around in retirement in Malibu before it occurred to the Warriors to tack him on as a consultant.

Jerry Buss might have been thinking of protecting Jimbo’s place in the organization, or he might not have thought about it at all. The bottom line is, he never thought they needed West.

Events will show whether Magic could have used West. Events have already shown that the fabulous Buss boys did with the Lakers’ decline starting in 2011, the […]    

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