On a night of big NBA news with the draft lottery and the start of the Western Conference Finals, the Clippers quietly made some noise themselves with the news that legendary front office executive Jerry West will be staying on with the Clippers another season as a consultant.
It’s unclear how much influence Jerry has had in the moves the Clippers have made over the past two seasons, but his arrival in July 2017 was certainly a turning point for the franchise in terms of their legitimacy as an organization. And, regardless of how much say he has over day-to-day operations, the Clippers’ moves since he’s arrived have been nearly uniformly excellent, and he has to deserve at least some of the credit for them.
Most importantly, Jerry is one of the most respected forces in the NBA, even at 81 years old. Current players recognize him as an all-time great player himself, someone who knows what it’s like to be on that side of things, as opposed to someone who came up through the business side. He’s an extremely valuable asset to take into a meeting with any free agent, and that’s not even counting his reputation as an evaluator of talent in the draft.
Simply put, this is big. The Clippers have retained three huge pieces of their front office in the past month, and look to be all set going into the massive summer of 2019. Their house is in order, and everyone clearly believes something special is brewing in Clip City. With Jerry, Trent Redden, and Michael Winger all back, hopefully the Clippers can make magic happen this summer.