Jerry West: 'Everyone Is Playing for Second Place' to Warriors

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

PLAYA VISTA, CA- JUNE 19: The Los Angeles Clippers name Jerry West as Special Consultant at a press conference in Playa Vista, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE  (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Jerry West left the Golden State Warriors front office to instead work for the Los Angeles Clippers, but he is still aware of which team is at the top in the NBA.

"Everyone talks about, well, this team is loading up to beat the Warriors. Well, everyone's playing for second place right now," West told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

West, who was named the NBA's Executive of the Year in 1995 with the Los Angeles Lakers and 2004 with the Memphis Grizzlies, played a role in building the current Warriors squad to what it is today. He joined the organization in 2011, helping the squad turn into a contender and eventually a dynasty.

Over the last three years, the Warriors have 207 regular-season wins, three Western Conference titles and two NBA championships. The team went 16-1 in the postseason last year, showing just how dominant the squad is with the addition of Kevin Durant.

Several teams in the West have made significant upgrades to compete with Golden State—including the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves—but as West noted, the defending champs are still the heavy favorite to win another title.

According to Odds Shark, the Warriors are listed at minus-185 to win a title, meaning it would take a $185 bet to just win $100. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only other team with better than 10-1 odds.

As for West's Clippers, the loss of Chris Paul has dropped them to 100-1 odds to win a championship. The organization will hope the addition of the NBA legend to the front office will help turn things around like he has so many other times in his career.