<
>

NBA legend, Warriors exec Jerry West makes case to Kevin Durant

play
Warriors get some help from Jerry West to lure Kevin Durant (1:10)

Chris Broussard details the phone conversation that happened between Jerry West and Kevin Durant, with West trying to convince Durant to join the Warriors. (1:10)

In an effort to recruit Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors, NBA legend Jerry West spoke with Durant by telephone Saturday, league sources told ESPN.com.

West, a member of the Warriors' Executive Board, did not try to tell Durant which team to choose. West did, however, share several reasons he believes Golden State would be the ideal fit for the superstar forward.

West spoke to Durant from the perspective of an all-time great player who kept falling short of winning an NBA championship. Although West won a title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972, he lost in his first seven trips to the NBA Finals and finished 1-8 in the Finals overall. West, 78, told Durant those losses still eat at him to this day, according to sources.

West also told Durant that playing alongside the Warriors' star trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would make it much easier on him. West opined that in Oklahoma City, most of Durant's shot attempts are difficult and contested. He told Durant, a career 27.4 point scorer, that his points would come much easier in Golden State and suggested it would take fewer shots to score the same amount of points.

Finally, West pointed out to Durant how he believes his overall game is overlooked in Oklahoma City. Although Durant is known as one of the greatest scorers of all time, he does not receive much credit for his rebounding -- he led the Thunder with 8.2 boards per game last season -- or defense.

West said that if Durant goes to a team with other great scorers and wins championships, the other parts of his game will receive recognition, and he'll be known as a great all-around player rather than just a great scorer.

West, one of the greatest executives in league history, has a well-earned reputation as a top recruiter. In 1996, he convinced Shaquille O'Neal to leave Orlando to join the Lakers, with whom O'Neal won three championships. West has also served on occasion as a sounding board for LeBron James.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News first reported that West spoke with Durant.