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And the winner is: The NBA "logo," Jerry West, also known as "Zeke from Cabin Creek," and "Mr. Clutch," which was a well-deserved moniker.
Where do I begin?
He played 14 seasons in the league and was an All-Star each one. He was named All-NBA first team 10 times and second team twice. He was also first-team All-Defense four times, and second team once.
If that doesn't impress you, it's only because the league didn't recognize that distinction until he was 32 years old in 1969. He received the honor each year until he retired in 1974.
His career numbers were 27.0 points a game, along with 6.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds. That's fourth in league history of retired players.
Still not impressed?
That was before the advent of the three-point shot in the NBA. If they had it when he played, he might have finished his career as the league's all-time leading scorer. His two-pointers were often from beyond the current three-point line.
The nickname Mr. Clutch was because when you needed him most, he came through. His 29.1 career playoff average is second to only Michael Jordan. Only the best of the best elevate their game in the playoffs, when you're playing the league's elite competition.
His Laker teams made it to the NBA Finals nine times in his career, though he won only one title, in 1972, when the Lakers had a 33 game winning streak.
In 1969 he became the only player in league history to win the Finals MVP award while playing on the losing team. He averaged 30.9 in the playoffs that year, but elevated his game against the Boston Celtics in the finals, including scoring 53 points the first game and 41 the second, both Laker victories.
He pulled his hamstring later in the series, but still managed a triple-double in the final game, scoring 42 points along with 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a 108-106 loss.
He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980, and was voted one of the 50 greatest players ever in 1996. He also was selected by ESPN in 2008 as the third greatest shooting guard of all time.
Are you still questioning my selection of West as the greatest Laker ever?
To use a basketball vernacular, let me make it a slam-dunk for you.
West became the Lakers' general manager in 1982. During his reign, they won seven championships, five in the eighties, along with victories in 2000 and 2001. They completed the three-peat in 2002. He left the team before that season to run the Memphis Grizzlies, but you can give him credit for that one too.
He orchestrated the trade that brought them Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac, along with signing Shaquille O'Neal to take his place. The piesta resistance was bringing in former Bulls coach Phil Jackson to complete the puzzle, and make the Lakers matter again.
You could also give him credit for the two championships the Lakers won in 2009 and 2010, because they would never have won those championships without Bryant and Jackson.
Counting the rings he was responsible for between his playing days and running the organization, the number comes to 11 by my definition.
If you add it up, he had the most impact on the Laker organization of anybody ever associated with the team.
Are you still questioning me?