Jerry West Opens Up About Depression

Tonight on HBO’s Real Sports, The Logo, Jerry West – currently serving as an executive boardmember and consultant – will speak publicly about his lifelong battle with depression. Bryant Gumbel travels to West Virginia as West opens up in his home.

West says his depression was triggered by the abuse he suffered from his father in his childhood. On his book (West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life) , he says he was raised in a home “where I never learned what love was and am still not entirely sure I know today. What I do know is that I harbored murderous thoughts, and they, along with anger, sadness, and a weird sort of emptiness, are in part what drove and fuelded and carried me a long way …”

West credits his perfectionist mentality to his determination to prove himself to his father.

WEST (in a segment airing tonight): “I would go to bed feeling like I didn’t even want to live. I’ve been so low sometimes and when everyone else would be so high because I didn’t like myself.”

In an Associated Press article, West’s wife, Karen, says the NBA legend rarely says the words I love you, “Maybe once a year.”


Marcus Thompson