Jerry West Wife Who Is Jerry West Wife?

At the age of 86, Jerry West, the legendary figure whose silhouette serves as the NBA logo, has passed away. With a net worth estimated at $55 million, West’s contributions to basketball and his community were vast. Known for his exceptional playing career, he was a 3-time Hall of Famer and the only player to win the NBA Finals MVP award on a losing team. Jerry West’s achievements extend beyond his playing days, making him a revered figure in the basketball world.

What Made Jerry West a Unique Basketball Legend?

Jerry West was not just any basketball player. His career was marked by numerous achievements that set him apart. He was one of the few players to win both scoring and assist titles, sharing this honor with only six others, including LeBron James. Moreover, he and LeBron are the only players among this elite group to have made the All-Defensive First Team. West’s impact on the game is still felt today, and his silhouette as the NBA logo is a testament to his lasting legacy.

How Did Jerry West Influence the NBA Beyond Playing?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver aptly summarized West’s impact, stating, “Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years.” Beyond his playing career, West excelled as a scout, manager, and executive. His keen eye for talent and strategic mind helped shape teams and players, leaving an indelible mark on the NBA. His influence extended to his children, who have also made significant contributions to the sport.

Who Were the Important Figures in Jerry West’s Personal Life?

In April 1960, Jerry West married his college sweetheart, Martha Jane Kane. The couple had three sons: David, Mark, and Michael. Although West and Martha divorced in 1976, they maintained a connection through their children. David, West’s oldest son, was named after his brother, who died in the Korean War and was considered West’s hero. Despite their father’s fame, David, Mark, and Michael have largely stayed out of the public eye, choosing to live private lives.

Kristine “Karen” Bua, Jerry West’s second wife, played a significant role in his life. They married on Jerry’s 40th birthday in 1978, forming a bond that lasted until his passing. Despite a 15-year age difference, their love flourished. Karen worked as an assistant teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District and held a position in the California State Controller’s office. Known for her support and dedication, Karen stood by Jerry through his illustrious career and personal challenges, embodying strength and compassion. Her presence provided stability and warmth, enriching Jerry’s life both personally and professionally.

How Did Jerry West’s Sons Continue His Legacy?

Jonnie and Ryan West have carried on their father’s legacy in the world of sports. Jonnie attended West Virginia University, where he majored in sports management and played basketball. He made four NCAA Tournament appearances and earned an MBA in business administration. Jonnie began his professional career at Wasserman Media Group and later became the director of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors’ G-League team in Santa Cruz. His hard work paid off in 2018 when he was promoted to director of basketball operations for the Warriors.

Ryan West followed a similar path, working as a scout under his father’s guidance. Initially hesitant to employ Ryan directly, Jerry was convinced by his friend Gary Colson to give Ryan a chance. This decision proved fruitful as Ryan played a significant role in building the Memphis Grizzlies into a playoff team. After seven years with the Grizzlies, Ryan joined the Lakers, continuing to build his career in basketball management.

What Legacy Did Jerry West Leave Behind?

While Jerry West is widely recognized as the silhouette of the NBA logo, he preferred to be remembered differently. Despite the NBA’s official stance on the logo, the designer and players acknowledged West’s influence. West once said, “I have often thought what I would like for people to think about me: ‘he was a good guy and he cared.’ That would be it, nothing more.” This humility and genuine care for others were central to how he lived his life and how he is remembered today.


Jerry West’s passing marks the end of an era, but his legacy continues to inspire. From his exceptional playing career to his roles as a scout, manager, and executive, West’s contributions to basketball are unparalleled. His influence extended to his family, with his sons Jonnie and Ryan continuing his legacy in sports management. While the NBA logo may be his most visible legacy, those who knew him remember him for his character and care. Jerry West will forever be a towering figure in the history of basketball.


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