SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - NBA Hall of Fame player Jerry West gave a heartfelt talk at the Prelude to March Madness fundraiser hosted by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.
West talked openly about how it hurt to keep losing in the NBA Finals back when West was a player in the 1960's and 70's. West and the Los Angeles Lakers did capture the championship in the 1971-72 season but West was 1-8 in NBA Finals. He even said it was not satisfying at all to be the only NBA Finals MVP from a losing team after his team lost to the Celtics in 1969.
West did win six NBA titles with the Lakers as general manager and another championship as a consultant with the Golden State Warriors in 2015.
He said his happiest times were actually in Memphis where he guided the Grizzlies to their first ever playoff appearances. As the teams Director of Basketball Operations he was named NBA Executive of the Year, he also won that with the Lakers in 1995.
The 78-year old West told the youngsters in the audience to set their goals high and not to be afraid to fail. West says that basketball allowed him to live his dream.