Today in Sports History: April 23

In 1969, Los Angeles Lakers guard, Jerry West, scored 53 points in game 1 of the NBA Finals. West and the Lakers took down the Boston Celtics at the Los Angeles Forum, 120-118.

From 1960 until 1974, West played for the Los Angeles Lakers averaging 27 points per game, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game. Throughout the 932 games he played, he averaged 39.2 minutes per game. 

Known to be one of the best guards, West won the NBA Championship in 1972 and was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 1969. He was a 14-time NBA All-Star, 12-time All-NBA, 10-time All-NBA First Team, and 4-time NBA All-Defensive First Team. He was also named to the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams of Best Players of All-time.

He played for USA Basketball and participated in the 1960 Rome Summer Olympic Games, winning the gold medal. 

Once retired in 1974 and his post-playing career had begun, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and enshrined in 1980. He worked at the Lakers front office as general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations from 1982 until 2000 where he was then hired by the Memphis Grizzlies as the president of basketball operations in 2002. 

In 2011, West joined the Golden State Warriors on their front office team as an Executive Board member where he oversees the team’s ownership group and represents the organization and team in multiple different ways within different related functions and events.

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