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Warriors pay homage to NBA great Jerry West as "an incredible and unique individual"

Honoring NBA legend Jerry West and his extraordinary career
Honoring NBA legend Jerry West and his extraordinary career 10:33

The Golden State Warriors paid tribute to legendary NBA player, coach and executive Jerry West Wednesday after news of his death at age 86 broke.

Though best known for his extended stint with the Los Angeles Lakers from the '60s into the '80s, West served as an executive board member for Golden State for six seasons starting in 2011 and was part of the front office staff for two of the Warriors' four most recent NBA titles. He left the team to work for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017 and was still with the Clippers at the time of his passing.

While he had already left the team by the time Kevin Durant joined the Warriors to help Golden State win two more championships, West was instrumental in getting the power forward to sign with the team as a free agent.

A statement paying tribute to West that was attributed to co-executive chairman and CEO Joe Lacob was posted to the Warriors' website and shared on social media. 

"Jerry West was an incredible and unique individual, having accomplished immeasurable heights in the game of basketball. He reached the absolute pinnacle of the sport as both a player and executive, something few can claim in the profession," the statement said. "He did so much for the NBA, the game of basketball and each of the teams he was associated with during his unmatched career, including the Warriors. Jerry had a profound and immense impact on our franchise and was instrumental in our recent decade of success." 

Lacob also noted that even though he grew up as a Celtics fan, West was his idol.

"To me, he was basketball. He was not just about the actual game, but he personified competitiveness. He was the most competitive individual I have ever met, settling for nothing short of greatness," Lacob's statement read. "He had to win. It consumed him. He was bigger than life. He was an icon."

The statement offered condolences to West's wife Kathy and the rest of his family as well as "the NBA community."  

Head coach Steve Kerr made a statement on video about West's passing that was shared by the team's social media accounts. He said West was "clearly one of the great figures in NBA history, one of the greatest players of all time, one of the greatest executives of all time."

The Warriors' home court also paid tribute, with the Chase Center displaying an in memorium photo on the giant screen outside the arena's main entrance.

Warriors star Klay Thompson also remembered West, posting a photo sitting next to the NBA legend saying "Gonna miss Mr. West" with a goat emoji.  

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