West says he’s not helping Kings
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
Jerry West wants to make one thing clear: he’s only advising one team.
The one that pays him.
The basketball legend who has been a Golden State consultant for more than two years has been connected to the Sacramento general manager search because of his ties to new Kings owner and former Warriors minority owner, Vivek Ranadive. From Warriors owner Joe Lacob on down, Ranadive – a Silicon Valley software magnate who helped keep the team from moving to Seattle – has been using his former colleagues as counsel in the early goings of his ownership.
But in an interview with USA TODAY Sports, West made it clear that his role in assisting Ranadive has been severely overstated by several media reports and said he took exception to the idea that he would be the unofficial point man in the process.
“For some reason, I’ve gotten two or three calls from people (wanting the job) saying that (they) want to get in front of him and could you help, and I think it’s ludicrous,” West said. “I sent back to them and said that in no way, shape or form am I advising him – period. I believe that if you make an obligation to someone … and my obligation is always to (Warriors owner) Joe (Lacob) and the rest of the Warriors organization, and I have no interest in helping anyone, OK? Anyone except if I can help the Warriors obviously.”
Yet while it has been reported that West is pushing for his former Memphis colleague, Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace, he said the only candidate he’s endorsing is Golden State assistant general manager Travis Schlenk.
“I think with Travis, I see a lot of people get jobs, but this guy is imminently qualified,” West said of Schlenk. “I don’t call many times or talk to people on behalf of people – and I get a lot of calls to do it – but I have an unbelievably high regard for him and I think he would be a great choice, whether he’s (Ranadive’s) choice or not.”
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