User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
LA Lakers retire Wilkes' No. 52 jersey

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jamaal Wilkes spent most of his successful basketball career as a remarkable supporting player.

Advertisement
The Los Angeles Lakers felt it was time to put Silk under the spotlight.

Wilkes' jersey was retired by the Lakers on Friday night, putting the smooth scorer in company with the franchise's Hall of Fame stars on the walls high above Staples Center.

Wilkes was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year. The Lakers, who only retire Hall of Famers' jerseys, formally hung his No. 52 next to Magic Johnson's No. 32 during halftime of their game against Portland.

``I think it says a lot about the Laker tradition,'' Wilkes said. ``They've had some awesome basketball players, and now I'm one of them. Being front and center, and now I look in the mirror, and I go, `Wow.' It's cool, and yet it's emotional for me.''

Wilkes was visibly touched by the honor, choking up while thanking his fellow Lakers greats amid several big ovations from the sellout crowd. Jerry West, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Elgin Baylor all showed up to support their fellow Lakers honoree.

``I'm just enjoying it,'' Wilkes said. ``I think months later, it will hit me, the true significance of it all.''

The 59-year-old Wilkes is a California native who starred at UCLA before winning his first NBA championship as a rookie at Golden State. He was a key supporting player on three Lakers title-winning teams of the 1980s, with a jumper that was as unorthodox as it was reliable.

A supporting role never bothered the former Keith Wilkes, who won a title as an NBA rookie alongside Rick Barry and Clifford Ray at Golden State before adding three more rings in Los Angeles.

``I always prided myself on winning,'' Wilkes said. ``I learned at a very young age, you can debate who the best player was or wasn't, but you can't debate who won or lost. So that's where my priorities went, and I played with some pretty good players along the way. I like to think that they made me better, and I made them better because I was able to adapt to different situations, and I was a good influence in the locker room.''

He was also a superb scorer who won two NCAA titles at UCLA alongside Bill Walton before the Warriors drafted him in the first round and promptly won an unlikely NBA title with the slim, 6-foot-6 Wilkes as their power forward.

Wilkes' supporting character was epitomized in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA finals. He had 37 points and 10 rebounds in a spectacular game, but was thoroughly overshadowed by Johnson's 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the title-clinching win.

Wilkes scored 14,664 points before retiring after a few games with the Clippers in 1985.

Wilkes still isn't done being honored. Santa Barbara High School will retire his jersey next month, and his face is a prominent feature at the freshly renovated Pauley Pavilion on UCLA's campus, where he's still a wildly popular figure even though both of his sons played college ball at California.

All of the attention is unusual to the soft-spoken star, but he's handling it just fine.

``I had kind of got used to being a private citizen, and now I'm front and center,'' Wilkes said. ``I think the fact that it is a yearlong merry-go-round makes it more special for me.''

The Lakers hadn't retired a number since Gail Goodrich's No. 25 went on the wall in 1996, but they aren't done for the season: Shaquille O'Neal's No. 34 goes up April 2.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
David: Inside the Paint - Monday
Lawrence: Zig-Zag Theory
News: 2014 Playoff Results
News: Clippers, Pacers still favored
Blazers outlast Rockets 122-120 in OT
Wizards rally past Bulls 102-93 in Game 1
Heat roll past Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1
Duncan rallies Spurs past Mavs, 90-85
NBA: Refs missed call for Clippers
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
17-7 L24 Picks, +4,183 This Year
9-3 L12, 16-5 L21, 37-13 Streak
5-0 L5 G-Plays, +1,777 This Year
21-9 L30, +2,070 G-Plays TY
6-3 L9, 10-4 L14 Selections
4-1 Last 5 Total Plays
12-5 L17 Totals, +1,614 Picks TY
14-7 Last 21 Guarantees
4-1 L5 G-Plays, +1,464 TY
10-3 Last 13 Guarantees
+1,228 Totals This Year
5-2 L7 G-Plays, 6-3 L9 Picks
9-4 L13 Picks, 14-5 L19 G-Plays
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 5-2 L7 Picks
11-3 Last 14 Over/Unders
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks- Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 4183
Mike Rose + 1777
Stephen Nover + 1614
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 474
Paul Bovi + 379
Doc's Sports + 280
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Chip Chirimbes 58 %
Paul Bovi 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 2070
The Prez + 1413
Paul Bovi + 1213
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1337
Tony Stoffo + 1228
Kyle Hunter + 1045
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1692
Mike Rose + 1494
Chip Chirimbes + 1098
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!