HomeTrendingJerry West Built a Legacy Amid Illness and Health Struggles

Jerry West Built a Legacy Amid Illness and Health Struggles

Jerry West struggled with AFib, a heart condition, since his twenties.

The NBA legend Jerry West had openly discussed his illness, including long-term depression and AFib, a heart condition. He faced significant health challenges throughout his life.

Los Angeles executive Jerry West, the mastermind behind the NBA’s logo, passed away on June 12, 2024, at the age of 86.

The cause of his demise remains concealed, raising queries surrounding whether Jerry’s demise was because of any illness.

Having said that, the Hall of Famer Jerry passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles home with his wife Karen West by his side.

The NBA Legend Jerry West was Open about His Mental Health Issues

The inspiration for the NBA’s logo, Jerry West, battled depression since childhood because his abusive father would beat him with a belt.

Despite his remarkable career trajectory as a player, coach, and executive, Jerry struggled with low self-esteem due to childhood abuse.

He unfolded that his childhood was devoid of love, leading to a troubled childhood and unhealed trauma.

The basketball player even tried therapy but didn’t follow through, eventually turning to Prozac to manage the symptoms of his depression.

The NBA legend expressed his deepest and raw feelings in an HBO segment of “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” saying;

I would go to bed feeling like I didn’t even want to live!

Besides his troubled childhood, the loss of his brother during the Korean War also doubled his mental issues.

Jerry’s Struggle With a Heart Rhythm Disturbance Condition Led Him to Leave the Lakers

Besides his mental health issues, Jerry was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition that causes an irregular and often rapid heart rate.

He unveiled exclusive information stating his struggle with AFib played a huge role in his decision to leave his position with the Lakers in 2000.

Jerry talked up about his diagnosis of AFib in a 2016 interview, stating he first experienced symptoms during his playing days with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He had several symptoms, including hyperventilation, trouble sleeping, and feeling his heart racing out of rhythm.

It wasn’t until years later that he discovered he had AFib, a condition that affects the elderly. However, Jerry had been dealing with it since his twenties​.

Despite feeling better, he didn’t return to work permanently because of the health risks associated with his condition​.

The father of five, Jerry’s impact on the NBA remains immeasurable. Undoubtedly, the sports industry will miss him dearly.

Meanwhile, our deepest condolences to Jerry’s family and loved ones. The NBA surely did lose another legend and an ICON of basketball.

Additional Information

  • Jerry West tied the knot with his college sweetheart, his first wife, Martha Jane Kane, in April 1960. They shared three kids: David, Mark, and Michael.
  • He married Karen West, his second wife, in 1978 and shared two sons, Ryan and Jonnie.
  • Jerry West had a networth of $50 million, given his triumphant career as a player, coach, consultant, and executive.
Aditi Rai
Aditi Rai
Meet Aditi Rai, a film enthusiast and content editor with a passion for storytelling. She is also an avid music lover with interest in digital marketing. A Gen Z who loves her personal space and is keen to exploring new things. An optimist who seeks the silver lining in every circumstances life throws at her.


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