1. Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers (1961-68, 1970-73)
Any countdown recapping the historical significance of West Virginia University basketball will always be headlined by Jerry West. He is the epitomy of greatness and is a talent on par with the greatest players in NBA history.
“The Logo” had a heralded 14 season career in Los Angeles, amassing a career stat line of 25,192 points, 5,376 rebounds, and 6,238 assists. West was the perfect compliment to Elgin Baylor and then later was a terrific set-up man for Wilt Chamberlain.
Behind West, the Los Angeles Lakers appeared in 9 NBA Finals (1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968. 1969, 1970, 1972, and 1973) wining the 1972 NBA Finals.
Jerry West became a staple of the NBA All-Star game, appearing in the game 12 times in his 14 season career. In his appearances in the All-Star game, West compiled 160 points, 47 rebounds, and 55 assists. He would earn 1972 All-Star game MVP honors for his 13 point, 6 rebound, and 5 assist performance.
West went from a Hall of Fame playing career to working as an NBA GM with the Lakers, Grizzlies, and Warriors.