Jerry West Reportedly Pursued by Knicks Before Joining Clippers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2017

Jerry West sits on the bench before an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

New York Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly wanted NBA legend Jerry West to take over for former team president Phil Jackson after the latter parted ways with the Knicks. 

Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News reported the news Tuesday, noting league sources said Dolan asked entertainment executive Irving Azoff—"one of his most trusted allies"—to talk to West about the opening.

West chose to accept an advisory role with the Los Angeles Clippers instead, and the Knicks have president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry attempting to lead the team back to Eastern Conference contention.

While West certainly could have served as a stabilizing factor given his extensive experience as a player and front office member in the league, Lawrence pointed to a newly focused franchise that is "all about wins and losses now, with very little happening off the floor moving the needle, even the slightest."

He noted the lack of critical tweets from Jackson and questions about Carmelo Anthony's future, as well as the willingness to give Kristaps Porzingis the "reins" as a franchise player.

"Now, it's a more stable environment around here and that is going to help any team," Miami Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra said when his team visited New York, per Lawrence. "That makes for a big difference. Stability, in this league, is the biggest factor in getting consistency."

The changes are welcome ones in New York, although West surely would have been an asset considering he is a Hall of Fame player and helped orchestrate a dynasty with the Los Angeles Lakers and helped the Golden State Warriors win two titles in three years in front office roles.

He was an advisor for the Warriors before taking the Clippers job and helped bring together the Lakers teams that revolved around Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

Even without West, the Knicks are headed in the right direction after four straight losing seasons, including a 17-65 effort in 2014-15. They are 11-12 on the young season and a game behind the Washington Wizards for the final playoff spot in early Eastern Conference standings.

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