Jerry West is arguably one of the best basketball players to ever play in the NBA and a Los Angeles Lakers legend as both player and front office executive, coupled with his success with building the basketball juggernaut we know today as the Golden State Warriors. Currently, he is a consultant with the Los Angeles Clippers and was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual NBA All-Star Legends Brunch.
Upon accepting the award West says via NBA.com “I’m going to say this- and I don’t like to say things that are controversial-but this game is going to overtake all other sports. “
Certainly, most can agree that basketball has grown in popularity and now with the explosion of the internet has reached a bigger and more global audience. Jerry West has witnessed the majority of the growth from his playing days to his present-day role as an executive in the Clippers front office. Despite this growth, current ratings still have the NFL ahead of the NBA as far as popularity despite the myriad of issues and concerns the national anthem protests have provided.
Football still has a stronghold on American culture and does not seem to be going anywhere albeit the drop in popularity this past 2017 season. The NBA has embraced the diversity in its game from the players all the way to the front office. The NFL has not made those same advancements but still leads the way in popularity. Only time will tell if Jerry West is, in fact, correct with his take on the popularity of the sport.