Nic Batum recalls special moment with Jerry West on his first day as a Clipper

nic batum recalls special moment with jerry west on his first day as a clipper

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While the NBA world is still in shock over the Jerry West news, the logo's NBA legacy eclipsed 99 percent of the players and executives who have ever crossed paths with professional basketball.

In addition to his incredible resume, it's well-known that West touched many players during his life around the NBA. Despite the fact that he's gone, there's no shortage of great stories about the NBA legend.

Nic Batum sheds light on the kind of character West was

There was no difference in West, as a person, regardless of where he was. If you ask any NBA player who ever interacted with West, they'll probably rave about what a great man he was and how much he cared about his close-knit circle.

No, he wasn't just that way with the superstars on his team. While Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard — all the superstars under West — could go on and on about what West meant to them, the logo was the same to the role players and the guys off the bench.

Former L.A. Clippers forward Nic Batum recalled meeting the logo in person. In a piece by The Athletic, the story of Batum's move from Charlotte to L.A. and the first interaction he had with West was detailed.

"West left the Warriors in 2017 after their second championship and joined the Clippers as a consultant, where he still had an effect on the players on the team. Nicolas Batum, who joined the Clippers in 2020 after being waived by the Charlotte Hornets, said West came up to him on his first day of practice to tell him he was a big fan — and that he would have loved to have a teammate like him as a player.

"It meant the world to me at that moment," Batum said"

West was a true basketball genius; we understand that. But he also transformed the game through different generations, not just with his play, but how he approached team personnel.

Was he demanding and forceful in his approach? He absolutely was. But was his approach rude or come across as arrogant? Not at all. West commanded respect, not verbally, but in presence.

What Jerry meant to the Clippers organization

Even though the logo is naturally remembered as a Laker, West admitted he didn't know why his relationship with Lakers ownership soured so suddenly. Jerry continued with the Clippers as a consultant in 2017, where he pulled off some memorable transactions. Even with the Clippers roster we're watching right now, West had his imprint all over it.

In 2019, just when everyone was convinced Kawhi Leonard was a Laker, West worked his magic and swung a deal with Oklahoma City to acquire Paul George. Leonard was reportedly only open to signing with the Clippers if they got George to partner with him. West, being the brilliant negotiator he was, pulled it off.

Not just Batum, West meant so much to many Clippers players. George lamented recently on NBA Countdown, "I looked at him as an NBA father." Mr. Clutch was the boss of so many talented players throughout his career. If George saw him as a father figure, there's no question that others in the league think the same about him. Ultimately, that made West's impact so rich, and in addition to all he did as an all-time great point guard, the logo's legacy will reverberate in the NBA forever.

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