'West by West': 20 stories from Jerry West's autobiography

Basketball great Jerry West's autobiography is rife with revelations about the legend.

11. Elgin Baylor: a favorite teammate


West was a great admirer of Laker teammate Elgin Baylor, whom he calls one of the most dignified people he ever met.  They are immortalized on the same plaque at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, which honors the city’s sports greats.

West expresses disappointment that Baylor never had the satisfaction of playing on a championship team, since Baylor retired before the 1971-72 season, when the Lakers finally beat the Boston Celtics in the playoffs. What especially impressed West about Baylor’s play was his creativity and his knack for using angles, such as in banking shots.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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