Jerry West is currently a front office executive for the Los Angeles Clippers. Before that he worked with the Golden State Warriors and even before that he was the Head Coach of the LA Lakers. His Silhouette forms the iconic NBA logo and his name is known throughout the Basketball World. At the start of it all though, he was one of the best players to ever play the game.
How many points did Jerry West average in the 1969 Finals? In 1969 Jerry West led the LA Lakers against the Boston Celtics. West and the Lakers would lose in 7 games. West averaged 38 points in the 1969 Finals Series. Across the 7 games he averaged 44 minutes 38 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. His performance was so strong that he was awarded the first ever NBA Finals MVP, despite being on the losing side. This is still the only time this has ever happened.
Jerry West put up an incredible stat line in the 1969 Finals to go along with a championship worthy performance. He did almost everything right and still came out on the wrong side of winning.
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Jerry West Game by Game Stats 1969 NBA Finals vs Boston Celtics
They say a 7 game series doesn’t start until the road team wins. In the 1969 NBA Finals it went with the home team, right up until the final, deciding, game 7. In this game Jerry West put up his strongest stat line. Scoring 42 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and hitting his team mates for 12 assists. Despite this the Bill Russell powered Boston Celtics came away with the road win, the series and the 1969 NBA Championship.
Who did Jerry West lose to in the 1969 NBA Finals?
Jerry West was drafted in 1960. He played for 14 seasons in the NBA, accumulating many awards and winning 1 NBA Championship in 1972. For the first 9 seasons West played in the NBA the league was DOMINATED by the Bill Russell Celtics. The Boston Celtics won 8 Championships in the 9 years between West being drafted and Bill Russell retiring in 1969. They faced West and the Lakers 6 times during this period, West would lose every time.
In the 1969 NBA Finals Russell was flanked by players such as; Sam Jones, Don Chaney, John Havlicek and Don Nelson. This wasn’t the most dominant roster the Celtics had fielded during Russells career, putting up a 48-34 record and finishing only 4th in NBAs Eastern Division. But they were experienced and determined. Russell himself felt inside that this was the last time he wanted to do this, and he wanted to finish on a win.
Russell would retire after emerging victorious from the 1969 Finals.
Did Jerry West deserve the 1969 NBA Finals MVP?
Jerry West was remarkable in the 1969 NBA Finals. He emerged as the first ever recipient of the NBA Finals MVP trophy, a trophy now named after the man who defeated him in the 1969 NBA Finals, BIll Russell. As Russell retired before playing again, this was the man with 11 titles, one and only chance to win the Finals MVP trophy.
This shouldn’t take away from West’s crowning for he surely was the most valuable player in the 1969 NBA Finals. Setting the tone in game 1 with a 52 point 10 assist outburst. He would play well both at home and on the road, averaging 38 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. He would finish strong posting 42 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a losing effort in game 7.
He did all he could to keep his side within touching distance of the NBA title. He came up short, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a deserving winner of the title of most valuable player.
West faces off against the Bill Russell Celtics in game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals
In the years since, no other player has been awarded the NBA Finals MVP trophy from the losing team. Lebron James came close in 2015 when his hobbled Cavaliers team pushed Golden State to the brink. However the FInals MVP was awarded to Andre Iguodala, the man who “held” Lebron to 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists.
Did Jerry West ever win the NBA title?
Yes, after Bill Russell left the scene following the 1969 Finals West was able to win 1 NBA title. Defeating the New York Knicks in the 1972 NBA Finals. This would be the Lakers first title in LA. However West did not repeat his Finals MVP achievement as Wilt Chamberlain averaged 19.4 points and 23.2 rebounds and was named Finals MVP. West averaged 19.8 points and 8.8 assists.