The NBA world is currently mourning the loss of Jerry West who passed away at the age of 86 on Wednesday. West was one of the best players to ever do it, and he was also one of the best executives to ever do it. He excelled in every aspect of his basketball career, and there is a reason why he is the NBA logo. He is a legend. Bucks head coach Doc Rivers talked about the life of West during a recent appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast.

Jerry West spent his entire NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was an All-Star every season and he never averaged under 17 PPG in a season. He won one championship with the Lakers and he was also Finals MVP. As an executive, West ended up being part of eight more championship teams. He is one of the best to ever do it on or off the court.

West had a unique journey that led up to his professional basketball career. Doc Rivers talked about that journey, and noted how impressive it is that West accomplished everything that he did.

“Jerry [West] was a complicated person because he lived a very dark life, you know, growing up, and to beat those odds from West Virginia, to become the logo, to be almost as good of a front office guy as you are as a player when you’re one of the greatest players ever,” Rivers said on the podcast. “I mean the dude overachieved everything and of all the people that you know, maybe of anyone I've met, his love and competitiveness for the game was unmatched. If you talked to Jerry last week if you could, and you start bringing up the Celtics series, he would start crying. He would start having literally tears in his eyes. Think about how long ago that was and it still affects him that they couldn't break through. That just show you the passion and the love that he had for the game that he was so great at.”

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers talks with referee Scott Foster (48) during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers during game five of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Fiserv Forum.
© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry West was in the heat of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry

Doc Rivers mentioned the Boston Celtics on the podcast as Boston is just one win away from winning another NBA championship. A lot of people have joked about the timing of the passing of West on social media, saying he didn't want to see the Celtics win another championship. During his time with the Lakers, he was in the heat of that rivalry.

Jerry West played for the Lakers from 1961-1974. In 1962, the Celtics defeated the Lakers in the NBA Finals, and it was the start of the bitter rivalry between the two teams. Both teams were great during West's era with Los Angeles, but Boston did get the better of them as West and the Lakers were only able to capture one championship during that time. Those two teams do not like each other at all.

Now, the Celtics are on the verge of another championship. They just took down the Dallas Mavericks in game three of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night, and they are just one win away from completing the sweep.