Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has released a statement on the passing of franchise icon and NBA Hall-of-Famer Jerry West.

“Today is a difficult day for all Laker fans,” she wrote on Instagram. “I know that if my father were here, he would say that Jerry West was at the heart of all that made the Lakers great. He was an icon to all — but he was also a hero to our family. We all send our sympathies to Karen and the West family.”

West, who spent the last seven years as an advisor and consultant with the Los Angeles Clippers, died on Wednesday at 86, the team announced. His wife, Karen, was by his side as “The Logo” took his last breath.

“Jerry West is forever a basketball icon. He brought Lakers fans their first championship in Los Angeles in 1972 and was integral to another six titles during his time with us,” the Lakers said. “Our thoughts are with the West family and the many NBA fans who honor his legacy. Jerry West will always be a Lakers legend.”

Los Angeles superstar LeBron James, who developed a close relationship with West upon entering the league in 2003, also shared his condolences.

“Will truly miss our convos my dear friend! My thoughts and prayers goes out to your wonderful family! Forever love Jerry! Rest in Paradise my guy! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🤎” James wrote on Twitter. “My mentor, My friend! Hopefully I continue to make you proud! 🥲. You're already missed.”

Jerry West's storied history with Lakers, NBA

LA Clippers executive board member Jerry West reacts in the first half against the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A truly singular figure in the NBA world, West is among the most accomplished players and executives in league history. Selected with the second overall pick of the 1960 draft by the Lakers, West played the entirety of his 14-year career in purple and gold. A 12-time All-NBA honoree and 14-time All-Star, he's the only player in league history to win Finals MVP from a losing team, a bittersweet feat he accomplished in 1969. Three years later, West won his first and only championship with Los Angeles alongside Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich.

After a three-year stint coaching the Lakers immediately following his playing career, West began his tenure as a front office executive in 1982, serving as Los Angeles' general manager. He led Pat Riley, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and company to three championships in that role, and years later orchestrated the trade that brought rookie Kobe Bryant to the Lakers, setting the stage for the franchise's next dynasty with Shaquille O'Neal.

West left Los Angeles in 2000, two years later taking over as the Memphis Grizzlies' general manager. After a successful five-year stint with the Grizzlies, he retired as the team's lead decision-maker in 2007. West joined the Golden State Warriors as an executive board member four years later, advising the team on personnel decisions. He notably refused to include Klay Thompson in 2014 trade discussions for Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love, telling Warriors ownership he'd resign in protest if the move was made. Golden State won its first championship in 50 years the following season.

“To me, the perfect player — and he wasn't as far along in his career when this trade had been talked about — the perfect player for Steph was Klay,” West during a 2020 appearance on on 95.7 The Game, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “He never seeks the spotlight. He just plays the game. And he has gotten better and better, and frankly, he's one of the most underrated players in the league who gets not as much love as he should get.”

West left the Warriors following the 2017 season, after the team won its second Larry O'Brien Trophy in three seasons. He immediately assumed a similar position with the Los Angeles Clippers, one the NBA legend held until his death.

RIP, “Mr. Clutch.”