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Jerry West statue unveiling: Crowd gathers before presentation at Staples Center

February 17, 2011 |  5:02 pm

We're here at the Star Plaza outside Staples Center where at 5 p.m. the  tribute to Lakers Hall of Famer Jerry West will begin. It's expected to last an hour and will culminate with the unveiling of a 14-foot, nearly 1,500-pound bronze bust of the man known as "The Logo" and "Mr. Clutch."

The event is free to the public and a pretty sizeable crowd has started to gather outside the metal fences. Inside those fences, five rows of seating has been set up for officials, colleagues, family and friends of West, who is scheduled to speak along with several others, probably along with team owner, Dr. Jerry Buss.

West's career with the Lakers has spanned more than 40 years, as player, coach and general manager. He led the 1972 team to a NBA championship and he helped build seven championship teams as a general manager. In 1995, he earned NBA executive-of-the-year honors.

When West retired as a player in 1974, he did so as the Lakers' all-time leading scorer, a mark Kobe Bryant broke last season.

The statue of West, which is currently behind a black curtain, was commissioned by the Lakers, Staples Center and AEG. It was created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany and will have a granite pedestal.

The statue will join several others here in the plaza, including hockey great Wayne Gretzky, Lakers great Magic Johnson, Lakers announcer Chick Hearn and boxing great Oscar De La Hoya.

Johnson’s statue, which was dedicated Feb. 11, 2004 and Hearn’s statue, which was dedicated April 20, 2010, were also created by Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany.

-- Baxter Holmes