Former Grizzlies boss and Lakers legend praises Kupchak for getting Gasol.
L.A. Times: Finally, Jerry West can watch the Lakers without being swamped by the anxiety that drove him to pace the hallways or roam the freeways while the team he assembled became a behemoth that would win three consecutive NBA championships.
The Lakers still bear his imprint nearly eight years after he retired for the first time, after that first title, and they will forever have a claim on his heart. And West, back in Southern California full-time after five seasons as the Memphis Grizzlies’ president of basketball operations, likes what he sees of his old team.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak’s acquisition of 7-footer Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and two first-round draft picks — a trade West said he was not involved in, contradicting the rumors and conspiracy theories that have buzzed around the Internet — was a good one, he believes.
And who’s going to argue with Jerry West?
“I think they have the best team in the West and I said that before they got him,” West said Friday in a rare interview.
“He’s a terrific kid, a very skilled offensive player,” West said of Gasol. “He’s got size and some versatility. He’s a very good player. It’s a terrific deal for the Lakers.