Those who follow basketball and those who are casual sports fans know the name Jerry West. He is a Hall of Fame player who also has coached in the NBA and has been an extremely successful, competent executive in the NBA.
We live here in the San Francisco Bay Area, home of the Golden State Warriors NBA franchise. This franchise has been woeful for so many years we cannot even remember. The team won the NBA title in the mid 1970’s when Rick Barry and others led the team. Since then it has been mostly a team of promise, playing pretty much poor basketball compared to the rest of the league.
There has been an ownership change and one of the moves the new group made has been to hire Jerry West as an advisor. In a recent interview he gave some very compelling answers that reconfirmed what we know generally to be true about high level performers.
Q: Gotta ask you, as a former head coach in the NBA, how much of that job is X’s and O’s…and how much of it is player psychology?
A: First of all, I think you have to motivate players…I said it once and I’ll say it till I die: Hard work is a skill, and a coach can bring a game plan to the room, he can have every X and O down to a science…but the bottom line is…you’ve got to have players that go out and compete every night.
Q: You chose to join the Warriors as an advisor, and you know you could have done any number of things with your life. There must have been something about the owners and their pitch to you that said, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to spend my time with the Warriors.”
A: One of the most important things in life is to be around people that have great energy and great enthusiasm. I don’t want to be around anyone at this point in my life that’s an energy drainer, because they’re not a lot of fun to be around, and pretty soon you are at…their level. But these are two incredibly enthusiastic men. They are unbelievably bright. They want to do something very, very positive up here…The goal is to get this team to a greater height…and the way to do that is to have a very, very tough and strong ownership that has fiber to it, that’s not afraid to make decisions. And sometimes they’re not always popular, but that’s exactly what you are going to see up here.
Pretty clear to us…how about you?