JERRY WEST, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time whose silhouette was the inspiration for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) logo, has died at the age of 86.

The Los Angeles Clippers, where he worked as an executive, confirmed the death on Wednesday, saying the 14-times NBA all-star passed away peacefully with his wife Karen by his side.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

“He was the league’s first Finals MVP and made rising to the occasion his signature quality, earning him the nickname ‘Mr. Clutch’.”

Mr. West, who played as a shooting guard, led the Los Angeles Lakers to nine NBA Finals but only once hoisted the championship trophy.

He remains the only person named most valuable player of the championship series despite playing for the losing team having won the award in 1969.

Taken with the second overall pick in the 1960 NBA draft by the Minneapolis Lakers before the team relocated to Los Angeles, Mr. West became the third player to reach 25,000 points and retired in 1974 holding the records for career post-season scoring and the highest average in a playoff series.

In 2019 Mr. West was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by US president Donald Trump. The sharp-shooting Mr. West was inducted into the Basketball Hall of fame as a player in 1980 and will be honored again later this year when he is enshrined as a contributor.

“As a player and an executive, his profound impact on the game of basketball is matched only by his character and integrity,” said the Basketball Hall of Fame in a statement. — Reuters