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Report: L.A's West Stepping Down

Jerry West, a key member of the Los Angeles Lakers' organization for 40 years, is stepping down as executive vice president of basketball operations, reported. said Thursday night that multiple NBA sources confirmed the 62-year-old Hall of Famer has informed team officials he will leave before the start of next season. The Web site said West is expected to remain with the team in some capacity.

Messages left by The Associated Press for two team spokesmen were not immediately returned. A call to the home of an assistant to owner Jerry Buss rang unanswered Thursday night.

West starred for the Lakers for 14 seasons and also coached the team for three years. He has a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2002-2003 season that reportedly is worth $3.5 million annually.

The Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers in June for their first title in 12 years.

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