Jerry West, Inspiration For The NBA’s Logo, Dead At 86

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Jerry West, the former Los Angeles Lakers star whose silhouette inspired the NBA’s logo, has died at the age of 86, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday morning.

“Jerry West has passed away at 86 years old,” Charania tweeted.

West was one of the league’s first stars, making the All-Star team in every one of his 14 NBA seasons. He played his entire career with the Lakers where he won the 1969 NBA Finals MVP.

Though his Lakers made the NBA Finals an incredible nine times in his career, he only won one ring, in 1969.

Jerry West Career Highlights

Still, West’s Hall of Fame career earned him mutual admiration amongst his peers and the league at large, leading to his likeness being used for the NBA’s current logo. (RELATED: Former NBA Player Suffers Medical Emergency During Police Arrest: REPORT)

While the NBA officially maintains the logo is based on no specific player, the logo’s designer, Alan Siegel, confirmed that West is the man behind the iconography in a 2021 interview.

“I saw the picture of Jerry West. Of course I watched him in college and the NBA. I always admired him, but I liked the picture because it was a nice vertical and had this motion to it,” Siegel said.

Jerry West Hits 60-Footer

“But in designing the logo, I never mentioned it was based on a picture of him. It was just discovered years later,” he confirmed.

Besides his stellar playing career, West carved out an outsized role as a coach and executive in his later years. He coached the Lakers for three seasons between 1976 and 1979. He went on to lead the Lakers to multiple championships as an executive from 1982 to 2000. He also served stints as a consultant with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jerry West Highlights Vs Celtics

His 25,192 points make him the league’s 25th highest scorer of all time and his 6,238 assists are good for 35th most in league history.