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The "Charmed, Tormented Life" of NBA great Jerry West

West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life
West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life
By Jerry West and Jonathan Coleman

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Legendary Laker Jerry West is back in the spotlight with the release of his biography, "West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life" this year.

Mr. Clutch, as he's known for his game-winning baskets at the buzzer, has just written a deeply affecting autobiography. The man who is literally the poster boy of the NBA – it's his silhouette in the red, white and blue logo – reveals how he overcame child abuse, debilitating shyness and wrestled with depression to sustain a forty-year career with the LA Lakers.

West divulges his personal demons: “I am the fifth of six children, raised in a home, a series of them actually, that was spotless but where I never learned what love was and am still not entirely sure I know today. What I do know is that I harbored murderous thoughts and they along with anger, sadness and a weird sort of emptiness, are in part what drove and fueled and carried me a long way, traveling a path to the future that, even with the depth of my crazy imagination, I never had the self-confidence to allow myself to fully envision, not really.”

West went on to become an Olympic Gold Medallist, an NBA All-Star, a two-time Hall of Famer and was named one of the fifty greatest players in NBA history. How did he do it? "West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life" (co-authored by Jonathan Coleman) also talks about his complex relationships with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and more basketball stars.

To celebrate the release of his book, Jerry West will talk to fans in Santa Monica tomorrow night. He will be in conversation with Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Gruber at Track 16 at Bergamot Station at 8pm. Tickets are available at the LiveTalks LA website. First though, AirTalk welcomes Jerry West to tell us more about his remarkable life.


Jerry West, author of "West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life"; Former Player, Coach, Executive with the Los Angeles Lakers; Advisor to the Golden State Warriors and West Virginia