Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon

Roland Lazenby, Author . Ballantine/ESPN $26 (422p) ISBN 978-0-345-51083-9

Going beyond the facade of the multifaceted NBA legend, Lazenby, a professor of journalism at Virginia Tech (The Show: The Inside Story of the Spectacular Los Angeles Lakers ), examines West, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1960 to 1974. From the frail kid from West Virginia coal country through his rebellious youthful hoopster to the crowning of a pro sports icon, this entertaining biography explicates how West, a shy, introverted perfectionist, emerged as a fabled college star with the West Virginia Mountaineers, using his patented one-hand jumper, pushing himself with endless drills to change the fate of the pro ball leagues. Lazenby accurately captures the inner man, his quirks, his rituals, his competitiveness when West, “Mr. Clutch,” faces off with Bill Russell's Celtics and Wilt Chamberlain's 76-ers. Even when the topic is life after active duty in pro ball, this book continues as a great example of old school sports bio without tabloid muck, satisfying all fans. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-345-51084-6
Ebook - 339 pages - 978-0-345-51926-9
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