Jerry West is immortalized in bronze

Jerry West and his special admirers

How special it was to be just a few feet away from Jerry West being honored with a huge statue in front of Staples Center last night. Mr. Clutch was flanked by his longtime hall of fame Laker teammate and close friend Elgin Baylor and other HOF greats like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Pat Riley, and the ultimate ‘Hated’ Celtic himself Bill Russell. Jerry was as humble as we knew he would be by this whole thing and afterward I caught up with ‘The Logo’ for his reaction to an amazing ceremony…

Jerry and Elgin with friend and biggest foe Bill Russell

Worthy, Shaq, Rambis, Sharman and Gasol admire West

Jerry West:

Many who know me know my feelings on how Baylor should’ve had a monument put in front of Staples before the place was built…and it’s always nice to hear West’s feelings on his buddy and of course, I couldn’t leave before getting some thoughts from still one of the great forwards to ever lace up a pair of basketball shoes…

Elgin Baylor:

Jerry and Elgin-Laker brothers forever

Then after speaking with Elg, standing alongside was longtime Laker and one of L.A.’s true treasures Tommy Hawkins and I talked about the ceremony. And as ‘The Hawk’ often does, he dropped in a few more details of the past that I couldn’t get enough of…

With Elgin at he and Jerry's plaque at the Coliseum


Tom Hawkins:

And finally, I grabbed Shaquille O’Neal before leaving the premises and had to ask him about the ceremony?  And that was after I mentioned to him on the court the previous week that he looked goofy in Celtics’ green!…

Shaq O’Neal:

 I only hope these sounds and pictures make you feel as if you were there. Enjoy the moment…it’s certainly one that I’ll never forget!

Hanging with Jerry's statue at the end of the night

About Ted Sobel

Award winning sportscaster/journalist covering major events around the world since 1973. Please check out my new book 'Touching Greatness' and deep audio vault---and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@tedsobelsports).
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