Selected by Los Angeles Lakers
Jerry Alan West (born May 28, 1938) is a retired American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames include "Mr. Clutch" for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation; "The Logo" in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; and "Zeke from Cabin Creek" after the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia. Playing the small forward position early in his career, West was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, leading the WVU Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game, earning Most Valuable Player honors despite the loss. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Rome.
West’s NBA career was highly successful. Playing the guard position as a professional, he was voted 12 times into the All-NBA First and Second Teams, was elected into the NBA All-Star Team 14 times, and was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star game in 1972, the same year that he won his single NBA championship ring. He is the all-time NBA record holder of points-averaged during a playoffs series (46.3) and, as a testament to his two-way play, a member of the first four NBA All-Defensive Teams which were introduced when he was 32 years old. Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is also the only player in NBA history to have won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award despite being on the losing team (1969). West was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996.