Every sport has its “greatest of all time” list that continues to be debated throughout the years. 

But the NBA’s list seems to carry the most weight while creating the fiercest arguments

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West pose for a picture

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West pose for a photo during the 2023 Las Vegas Summer League NBA Con on July 9, 2023, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
(Tom O’Connor/NBAE via Getty Images)

The top 10 list is a hotly debated topic, but one of the NBA’s all-time greats couldn’t care less where he lands. 


“No. Dan, I don’t live in the past,” West said Friday on “The Dan Patrick Show” when asked whether he cares where he’s ranked in basketball history.  

“I’ve been one of those people that’s fortunate enough … I guess my ego’s not big enough to even care about that stuff. I was just happy I had a chance to play when the league was growing when it was like a high school game when you went in the gymnasium.” 

West is considered one of the greatest to ever play the game, spending his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1960 to 1974. 

Jerry West before a Clippers game

Jerry West looks on before a NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers on October 23, 2022, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, CA. 
(Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He was a 14-time All-Star, winner of the 1972 NBA Finals, and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. 

After his playing career came to an end, West became a legendary general manager, helping to build championship rosters in LA. 

West was responsible for the draft-day trade that brought five-time champion Kobe Bryant to the Lakers. 

On Friday, West said that Bryant was more “advanced” at 19 years old than Victor Wembanyama, who was taken first overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA Draft. 


Jerry West attends a Clippers game

Jerry West attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns at Crypto.com Arena on April 20, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. 
(Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

“Kobe was more advanced. He wasn’t that height,” West said. “His body was a bit bigger. But they both bring a different kind of excitement to the game, and I’m very hopeful that for the Spurs, and partially for the league, that he will be one of those players that people want to come see because of the uniqueness of the talent. 

“Anything that’s good for basketball and particularly the growth of the game, I’m all for it.”

West is currently a consultant for the Los Angeles Clippers

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