Platinum Equity CEO Tom Gores on the death of NBA legend Jerry West: ‘He was bigger than life’

June 13, 2024 | Articles Homepage News The Pistons

Platinum Equity CEO Tom Gores on the death of NBA legend Jerry West: ‘He was bigger than life’

Shortly after Platinum Equity CEO and Founder Tom Gores finalized the acquisition of the Detroit Pistons in 2011, a living legend reached out to offer words of encouragement.

The legend was Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West, who died June 12 at the age of 86.

The entire NBA – including Gores – mourns the passing of the man whose silhouette from his playing days would become the logo of the league that has grown immensely since he starred for the Lakers from 1960-1974. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.

“I met Jerry more than a decade ago when I first came into the league and I’m grateful for the time we spent together over the years,” Gores said in a released statement. “He was a gracious, kindhearted man who was always generous with his thoughts. He was bigger than life and his enthusiasm for the game of basketball was unmatched. He will be dearly missed. My thoughts are with his wife, Karen, our colleague Ryan and the entire West family.”

Ryan West is currently a Pistons scout.

West also was a noted talent evaluator following his playing career. He built two dynasties with the Lakers and was later instrumental in building the Golden State Warriors. He won eight NBA titles as an executive.

Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem was a close friend of West’s.

“I’m devastated and heartbroken today over the loss of Jerry West, a dear friend who meant so much to me and my family,” Tellem said. “Jerry was a true basketball icon and a champion in every sense of the word. Over the course of more than 60 years, he left an indelible mark on the NBA, showcasing his extraordinary skill, fierce competitiveness, and unwavering passion for the game as a player, head coach, and executive. His enduring legacy of excellence was fueled by his remarkable intellect, genuine humility, unwavering integrity, and boundless generosity. On behalf of the Detroit Pistons organization, we extend our deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife, Karen, and his entire family during this difficult time.”

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