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There were times last season when Jerry West would watch the Warriors and stalk away exasperated, unable to conceal his displeasure, leading to whispers that after more than a half century of NBA hoops – and all the politics involved – he might have had enough.
I witnessed his ire on numerous occasions and wondered if The Logo, approaching his 76th birthday, was ready to disconnect from the Warriors and retire. That might be the only way he could keep himself from caring so much.
But, once again, West was not ready to go. Couldn't let go. The influential front office consultant, whose official designation is executive board member, agreed this week to stick around for a few more seasons.
Though West had another year remaining on his original contract, two sources confirmed West and the Warriors have agreed to a two-year extension that keeps him with the franchise through the 2016-17 season. The new pact was reported first by Bay Area News Group columnist Tim Kawakami.
The West deal comes five days after general manager Bob Myers signed to a three-year extension. CEO Joe Lacob now has his top three lieutenants – West, Myers and first-year head coach Steve Kerr – locked into contracts for at least the next three seasons.
Moreover, West's return should silence whispers of his impending departure.
Even after turning 76 in May, The Logo's competitive desire continues to burn hot. He was firm in his desire that the Warriors not trade Klay Thompson in a deal to acquire then-Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love. It was West and Kerr who stood in the way of such a deal, which Lacob and Myers ultimately shunned.
Though Lacob and Myers ended up firing former coach Mark Jackson, sources say it was not at the urging of West, who did not always like what he saw on the court but also believed a flawed roster made it difficult to fairly evaluate Jackson.
So the Warriors march into the future with an apparently unified front office, where disagreements result in compromise. Not even the CEO always gets what he wants, which is as it should be in a professionally run organization.
Having Jerry West around for a few more years is a good move for the Warriors. He's cantankerous and opinionated and passionate. He has his own weaknesses. Above all, he's knowledgeable and a proven team-builder.