Legendary Lakers player James Worthy tells TMZ Sports that he is devastated by Jerry West’s passing and that he will truly miss his close friend.

Just hours after Jerry’s passing on Wednesday, Worthy—whom West actually picked with the first choice of the 1982 NBA Draft while serving as LA’s general manager—spoke with us and looked back on his happy memories of the Hall of Famer.

James claimed that when he first heard the news, his heart hurt because Jerry loved going to the golf course. However, he claimed that shortly after, his memory bank from his time with West became extremely active.

READ MORE: NBA Icon Jerry West Died At The Age Of 86

The trust he placed in me. He actually launched and launched my career,” Worthy remarked. “He expressed his strong interest in me to Dean Smith, my college coach. Over guys like Terry Cummings, Ralph Sampson, and Dominique Wilkins. He was able to predict events before they occurred.”

Kobe Bryant was one of the things West was able to predict would happen. Worthy stated that other teams had preferred for Bryant to attend college for two or three years. When he became eligible, West had to have him, which turned out to be, to put it mildly, a wise decision.

14-time participant in the NBA All-Star game… West was successful as a player and as a part of the front office off the court. He was a part of the Lakers dynasty of the 1980s, which Worthy was a part of and was also known as the “Showtime” Lakers. Worthy claimed that his ability to see right through people was what made him so good.

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“You couldn’t bulls*** with Jerry,” Worthy remarked. “He was brutally honest, he would look you right in the eye and tell you all the things you didn’t want to hear.”

Worthy mentioned that he had discussed getting out for supper with Jerry approximately a month ago. Although James was aware that the 86-year-old was dealing with health concerns, he added that occasionally “it’s the unknowns we don’t know about.”

West is among the few athletes who successfully made the switch to coaching or front office work. Worthy mentioned that although Jerry detested coaching, he had an unmatched ability to assemble a team.

“Very innovative in rulemaking and how the game was shaped over time,” he commented. You’re talking about an 86-year-old guy who played in the 1960s, went on to become a general manager in the 1980s, and then transitioned into the millenium players. Nobody that I know of has ever done that.”