Rest In Peace, Jerry West

Jerry West died yesterday at the age of 86.  He was a basketball lifer starring at West Virginia in the 1950s and then becoming the silhouette for the NBA logo.  I never saw him play in college, but I saw him play many times as part of the Lakers; he and Elgin Baylor were great fun to watch even though they never were able to break through the Bill Russell-led Celtics in the 1960s.  Praise for Jerry West rightfully dominated sports radio and studio sports shows on TV yesterday.  By all accounts, he was as great a person as he was a player and here are some of his achievements as a player; his NBA career spanned 14 seasons with the Lakers from 1960 to 1974:

  • He won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1960 at the Rome Games.
  • He made the All-Star team in each of his 14 NBA seasons.
  • He made the All-NBA team 12 times.
  • He made the All-Defensive team 5 times.

Rest in peace, Jerry West.

Staying with basketball, interest in the WNBA is soaring; media coverage is far greater now than it ever was; players are getting endorsement deals unheard of in previous times; attendance is way up as people are now setting their sights on seeing specific players and teams as they come to town.  And the WNBA is about to be the recipient of a huge bump in league revenues from a new media rights deal.  All of this is surely connected – – but perhaps not as linearly as it might appear.

Ben Strauss covers sports media for the Washington Post; he is a solid reporter whose facts check out with reality almost all the time.  He has a report in this morning’s Post detailing the “WNBA’s windfall” that is about to arrive.  There is too much info in it for me to try to summarize it’ so, let me provide this link to the article online.  I suggest you take a couple of minutes to read it.

A couple of interesting tidbits in the report:

  • The NBA still owns almost 60% of the WNBA
  • The NBA media rights deal – – expected to jump from $2.7B to $7B – – includes the WNBA media rights deal.  AND it is the NBA not the media rights winner who will decide how much of that new deal goes to the WNBA.

The NBA Finals are all but in the books after the Celtics won Game 3 last night and lead the series 3-0.  The Mavs two stars, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving did their part combining for 62 points last night.  The rest of the Mavs’ team contributed only 37 points.  No team in NBA history has ever trailed a playoff series 3-0 and come back to win that series.

Moving on …  I always glace at the MLB standings, but this morning I looked more closely than usual.  The National League is a mess right now; of the 15 teams in that league, only 5 have winning records and one of those 5 winning records is 37-35 which is just barely a winning record.  Moreover, none of the three division races in the NL are even modestly “compelling” as of this morning.

  • The Phillies lead the East by 10 games
  • The Brewers lead the Central by 7 games
  • The Dodgers lead the West by 6.5 games

Back before the season started, I made 10 predictions regarding the 2024 MLB season.  I decided to review those predictions to see how they were playing out:

  1. Prediction: Dodgers Under 105 wins.  Projection: 99 wins
  2. Prediction: Cubs Over 84.5 wins.  Projection: 79 wins
  3. Prediction: Braves Under 102 wins.  Projection: 87 wins
  4. Prediction: Astros Over 92 wins.  Projection: 73 wins
  5. Prediction: Nats Over 66.5 wins.  Projection: 77 wins
  6. Prediction: Rays Over 85 wins.  Projection: 76 wins
  7. Prediction: Pirates Over 75 wins.  Projection; 77 wins
  8. Prediction: Tigers Over 80.5 wins.  Projection: 77 wins
  9. Prediction: Yankees Under 93.5 wins.  Projection:113 wins
  10. Prediction: O’s to win AL East. Status: O’s trail Yankees by 2.5 games.

As of today, 4 of the predictions look good and 6 are looking like losers.  If you take a closer look:

  • Three predictions look solidly correct
  • Three predictions look wildly off the mark
  • Four predictions are still in doubt.

Finally, some words from George Bernard Shaw:

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports ………



2 thoughts on “Rest In Peace, Jerry West”

  1. The Braves are still a decent team, but losing two star players for the season (one on opening day) hurts. It will take some unusual events for them to get 87 wins.

    1. Doug:

      The Braves are better than a decent team even after losing Strider and Acuna. Unless they lose another key player for the rest of the season, I think they are a shoo-in for the playoffs.

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