Jerry West discusses heart condition

ESPN: Jerry West knew there was something amiss with his body during his playing days with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He would have to breathe into a paper bag during games to keep from hyperventilating. He couldn’t sleep. His heart sometimes felt out of rhythm.

Years later, he would learn that he was suffering from atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disturbance.

“An athlete is well aware with what’s going on in his body. I knew there was something wrong,” the Hall of Fame guard told The Associated Press. “I wonder if they tested me now, would they have said I couldn’t have played?”

For the first time Monday, West discussed in detail his five-decade battle with the condition that led him to retire from the Lakers’ front office nine years ago. It’s a disease that disproportionally affects the elderly, but the man whose silhouette graces the NBA logo said he has been dealing with it since his 20s.

“I pretty much have kept it hidden over the years,” West said.

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Jaime is the co-owner and Operating Director for LakerNation.com from Alhambra, CA. He's help create the official websites for Kevin Durant and Goodwin Sports. Currently, he's the Online Producer for FOX Sports Radio and AM570 KLAC.
  • xfellerx

    poor jerry.

  • lakeshow

    come back to la plz!!! mitch dosent know what hes doing if west was here sasha and fluke and farmar wouldnt of been here!

  • J

    In other news, former Lakers forward Brian Grant (Shaq trade) revealed that he was diagnosed with “young onset” Parkinson’s disease. Our prayers are with him.

  • the antoine

    ive had episodes of a-fib for the last couple years.. started when i was 19.. glad to know one of the greats got through it when he was young too.. doctors always look at me weird because im supposedly too young to have it..

  • Makaveli3

    Dang he got it when he was young? So the whole time he hid it, man what a amazing player. I hope they can cure him. poor jerry west :( all time greats.