Jerry West On Talking Kobe Out Of Signing With The Clippers
The Lakers vs Clippers game this week was postponed to allow the players time to grieve following Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. Instead, TNT held an hour-long tribute special with Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Dwyane Wade, Reggie Miller, and Jerry West, who all came together to pay tribute to Bryant while sitting in the Staples Center.
Their meeting resulted in a lot of emotional tributes and personal anecdotes being told about the Lakers legend, with some of the best coming from NBA icon Jerry West. One story, in particular, is catching a lot of attention, after West talked about the time that he stopped Bryant from leaving the Lakers for the Clippers, all because he didn’t think he should play for the team’s former owner, Donald Sterling.
“I never really mentioned this to anyone,” West began. “He was going to come and sign with the Clippers. And I told him ‘Kobe, under no circumstances can you do this.’ And he was mad at everyone at the Lakers. The owner. Everyone else. I said ‘Kobe, you can’t go play with the Clippers. You can’t play for that owner, period.’ We had two conversations about it. And he supposedly made a commitment to the Clippers after we talked the last time. But there’s so many things that we talked about, as he was just seeking information. His parents were with him for awhile. And, honestly, I felt like his father for two years.”
Obviously, Kobe never ended up playing for the Clippers, and because of that, he’s one of the only big names in the NBA to spend his entire career on the same team.
This one story from Jerry West is just the tip of the iceberg, as everyone who encountered Bryant for even a second seems to have a vivid memory. Check out a clip from Jerry’s touching story down below: