Jerry West, a basketball legend who left an indelible mark on the NBA as both a player and an executive, died Wednesday morning at the age of 86, the LA Clippers announced. West, whose silhouette is widely believed to be the basis for the NBA logo, was surrounded by his wife, Karen, at the time of his passing.

A three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, West's illustrious career spanned decades and saw him achieve greatness on and off the court. As a player for the Los Angeles Lakers, he became the third player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points, earned All-Star recognition every year of his career, and led his team to the NBA Finals nine times, winning one title in 1971-72. West was also a 12-time All-NBA selection, an NBA Finals MVP as part of a losing team in 1969, and was named to the NBA's 75th anniversary team.

"Jerry West was the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him," the Clippers said in their announcement.

West's impact on the game extended far beyond his playing days. As an executive, he played a pivotal role in building championship-caliber teams. He orchestrated the rise of the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s, which won five titles under his guidance, and later oversaw the formation of the Shaquille O'Neal-Kobe Bryant duo that led the Lakers to three consecutive championships starting in 2000.

West's influence continued to be felt in his roles with the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and most recently, the LA Clippers. As an adviser for the Clippers starting in 2017, he helped engineer the breakup of the team's "Lob City" core, paving the way for the signing of superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Under his guidance, the Clippers reached the Western Conference finals for the first time in 2021.

Before his professional career, West was a standout player at West Virginia University, where he earned two All-American honors and led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game. Despite a loss in the final to Cal, West was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He also showcased his talents on the international stage, teaming up with Oscar Robertson to lead the U.S. to a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

West's clutch performances on the court earned him the nickname "Mr. Clutch," a moniker that would follow him throughout his career. His contributions to the game were recognized with his induction into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1980, as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team in 2010, and he is set to be enshrined for a third time later this year as a contributor.

The basketball world mourns the loss of a true icon, whose impact on the sport will be felt for generations to come. Jerry West's legacy as a player, executive, and mentor is unmatched, and his contributions to the game have forever shaped the NBA landscape.

"Jerry West was a giant in the world of basketball, both on and off the court," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. "His competitive drive and passion for the game were unparalleled, and his influence on the NBA will be felt for generations to come."

As fans, players, and colleagues alike pay tribute to the man who embodied basketball excellence, Jerry West's memory will live on as an inspiration to all those who love the game. His legacy as a fierce competitor, visionary executive, and beloved figure in the basketball community will forever be etched in the annals of NBA history.