One of the most respected executives in the NBA is joining one of its most challenged franchises.
The Golden State Warriors hired Jerry West yesterday to work with the front-office team in an advisory role and be a member of the executive board. West will assist the basketball operations staff and the business arm of the team, reporting directly to new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.
The Hall of Famer was a 14-time All-Star with the Los Angeles Lakers and spent 18 seasons as the Lakers' general manager and 5 years in Memphis' front office, rebuilding both franchises from the foundation.
West will be part of a new staff charged with leading the Warriors back to the playoffs after making the postseason only once since 1994. Golden State is also searching for a new coach after Keith Smart's contract was not renewed. Former Cleveland coach Mike Brown, Lakers assistant Brian Shaw, Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank and Dallas assistant Dwane Casey are among the top candidates.
West's responsibilities also will include sponsorship and marketing endeavors.
West will be only an adviser on decisions and won't play the role of general manager, where he has previously flourished. While he was at the helm in the front office, the Lakers won four titles and the Grizzlies made their only three playoff appearances until this season. West was voted NBA executive of the year in 1995 and 2004. The Warriors were planning to formally introduce West at the team's headquarters Tuesday.
West said in a statement that joining Golden State was appealing.
"I've had the good fortune to work for two wonderful owners, Dr. Jerry Buss and Michael Heisley, as an executive and I know that you must have a commitment at the top to succeed," West said. "I sense that is certainly the case with the Warriors or I would not have made this decision."