I wasn’t a child who actively looked for heroes. I was enamored enough with my parents and friends that I didn’t feel the need to put my hopes and dreams onto a public figure. However, that didn’t keep me from putting Jerry West on a very high level.
In reading West’s first autobiography from 1969, “Mr. Clutch,” I was riveted by his descriptions of life in West Virginia and his total dedication to basketball. As an eleven-year-old enjoying a balmy Southern California life, West’s story was a world away from my experience.
However, I related to his work ethic and desire to master a skill as thoroughly as possible. It impressed me and allowed me to further appreciate what he did on the court.
In his new autobiography, “West by West: My Charmed and Tormented Life,” the reasons for his obsessive escape into basketball become clear. Reading it over this past weekend, I felt like that boy again reading “Mr. Clutch.”