When superstar athletes retire, they often stay in athletics by going into management or becoming announcers. Lakers legend Jerry West has been arguably the most successful of the retired greats, becoming one of the best general managers of all time for the Lakers and doing a solid job of turning the Grizzlies into a playoff team several years ago.
However, West hasn't stopped achieving amazing things on the playing field since he hung up his sneakers. In fact, he was the talk of the Lakers Celebrity Invitational golf tournament on Monday. From Jill Painter for the Los Angeles Daily News:
West, the former player and general manager, had a hole-in-one at the Lakers Celebrity Invitational at Riviera Country Club on Monday. He aced the 138-yard, par-3 16th with an 8-iron. Two of the par-3s in the charity event showcased cars for anyone who aced the hole.
Ironically, the prize on the 16th was Lakers season tickets, and of course, West already has those and rarely goes to games anyway.
"I didn't think I'd make another one," West said in a phone interview from his office at Riviera. "I was pretty lucky. Actually, it was a good shot. It was going real close to the hole, and it kind of spun in the hole. It's the first time I'd played in a while. The caddie pointed his finger down to the hole, and I had no idea what the heck he was talking about.
"Any time you do something like that, you're not as thrilled as everyone else you're playing with. It's a unique thing to happen. A lot of people play for a lifetime and are very accomplished golfers and never have one."
I'm not sure that last point is actually true, because my brother made a hole-in-one roughly five years ago and hasn't stopped talking about it since. I think you're only not excited about the feat if you are widely acknowledged as one of the best basketball players of all time, earned the nickname "Mr. Clutch," and have your silhouette as the NBA logo. Everyday schmoes like you and me have to get excited about less impressive accomplishments.
Whatever the case, congratulations to West for his moment of glory on the links. Some guys get all the luck.
- Jerry West