“Never meet your heroes” is generally sound advice with professional athletes. The idol can rarely live up to sky-high expectations of the fan.
Fortunately for Terry Stotts, meeting his idol, Jerry West, had a happier ending. Stotts explained on a recent episode of the Scoop podcast that he grew up idolizing the former Lakers Legend.
“I wasn’t alone, I mean, in that era, in my era, Jerry West was the man,” Stotts said.
Jamie Hudson explains that once Stotts became an NBA staple he had the pleasure of meeting West, and the two struck-up a mutual admiration and friendship.
Now that West is an executive board member with the Los Angeles Clippers, Jerry is humbled to hear that Stotts emulated his game and had idolized him, but there’s more to it than just flattery.
West has appreciated Stotts’ coaching style from afar.
Specifically, it is Stotts’ demeanor that the now 80-year-old West, can’t say enough about.
“My goodness, [Terry] is probably one coach that really has flown under the radar for me. I think he’s terrific,” he said. “Every team is not perfect, and people want you to get to a certain level every year, but he’s taking a team that has some quality players. They compete every night, and the players look like they have great respect for him, but also, he has great respect for them.”
For more details about Stotts childhood in Guam and his relationship with West check out the full podcast.