West sees opportunity to grow Warriors

May 24, 2011, 5:32 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO -- To hear Jerry West tell it, there's one reason and one reason only he's coming out of retirement to be part of the Golden State Warriors' organization: Passion.Yes, passion.West, who will turn 73 in less than a week, still has it, he needs an outlet for it, and the Warriors are going to provide that outlet for him. West's official title will be advisor to owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, as well as a member of the Warriors' executive board.Lacob acknowledged West has a stake in team ownership. West's job description will involve plenty of facets -- from being in on basketball-related discussions, to helping with sponsorships, sales and public relations, to dealing with upcoming arena issues.STEINMETZ: With West, Warriors will get benefit of doubt
"I was watching the Miami-Chicago (playoff) game the other night," West said Tuesday morning at the St. Regis Hotel. "I watched the intensity of that game and I could feel me getting up on the edge of my seat. Those are the things that drive me."West's resume is one of a kind, whether as a player or executive. He is considered one of the greatest players the game has ever known and one of the greatest minds the game has ever known.The Lakers won six NBA titles with West as the team's general manager. As the general manager in Memphis, West guided the Grizzlies to their first-ever franchise playoff appearance.RELATED: Warriors coaching search update: 11 names
"This is obviously a very significant day for the organization," Lacob said. "We're trying to put together one of the world's best organizations in sports and I think the commitment of having Jerry West, such an icon, the icon, as far as I'm concerned, involved with us I just can't say how excited I am."Lacob and co-owner Peter Guber said West's role will be more far-reaching than chipping on basketball decisions. At the same time, West is quite a resource when it comes to personnel decisions.But West made it clear on Tuesday -- this isn't his show and his show alone. He'll work alongside general manager Larry Riley and assistant general manager Bob Myers -- which is right where West wants to be."I know my place in this organization," West said. "I think I can be of help. I think I can stimulate ideas. I think I can encourage them to be bold, risk-taking. The best risk-takers do the best in this business. I will tell you, I'm not shrinking violet. I'm not. If you don't want my opinion, don't ask."