Jerry West Rips Jeanie Buss' Top 5 Lakers Rankings: '1 of the Most Offensive Things'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 01: Jerry West attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center on March 01, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Jerry West spent decades with the Los Angeles Lakers as a player, coach and executive, but he didn't make the cut for Jeanie Buss' five most important people in franchise history.

West was obviously upset at the owner's snub when talking to Peter Vecsey on the Hoop Du Jour podcast (h/t CBS Los Angeles):

"I saw the other day Jeanie Buss made a statement, the five most important Lakers, one of the most offensive things I've ever heard in my life. I was there a lot of times, had a lot of success. Be curious to know if they would have had that success if I hadn't been there.
"And I don't ever take credit for stuff, I don't. When I was around, maybe I was just a good luck charm. But I do know, that when this thing fell apart, there was a lot of years where they weren't very good."

Buss was asked the question on the All the Smoke podcast, listing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson (h/t Victoria Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times).

All four of the players listed did win at least one title with the Lakers, while Jackson was the head coach for five championships. However, West's impact on the organization speaks for itself.

The guard was named an All-Star during each of his 14 years in the NBA, all with Los Angeles, helping the team win a title during the 1971-72 season. He led the Lakers to the NBA Finals seven times (nine overall) before finally breaking through with a championship alongside Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. 

West was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and still ranks fifth in league history with 27.03 points per game.

After his playing career, West spent three years as the team's head coach (1976-79) before serving as general manager (1982-94) and executive vice president of basketball operations (1995-2000). In that time, he helped build multiple dynasties and was instrumental in bringing Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal to Los Angeles.

Of course, he might have hurt his reputation with the team when he joined the rival Los Angeles Clippers as a consultant in 2017.

West's playing career also came before Jerry Buss, Jeanie's father, purchased the team in 1979. This timeline might have influenced the current team president's top five picks.