Instead of choosing Boston’s Big Three to team up with this season, David West has decided partner with Darren Collison, Danny Granger, and Roy Hibbert out in Indiana. The Celtics trio may be aging, but they still have as good a chance as anybody at this point to cash one more title in before they all bid the NBA their final farewell. They’d have had a better chance with the All Star Forward formerly of the New Orleans Hornets however.
After appearing to be on his way to Beantown, David West determined that the Indiana Pacers were a better fit for his services. Despite the fact that the Pacers are at best a 7th or 8th seed out East, with no real chance of advancing past the first round this post season, that’s where he’ll play both this season and next. A decision that Boston Shooting Guard Ray Allen is reportedly shocked over.
This according to a conversation Allen had with Jackie MacMullan at ESPN:
“I’m shocked,” Allen said. “I don’t understand it.”
Allen first heard of West’s potential interest in Boston last month when Allen was playing golf in Augusta with his private banker, who coincidentally also handled West’s financial affairs.
“He told me how much I would love [West], that he and I were the same kind of guy — cognitive thinkers,” Allen said. “He said West was interested in coming to the Celtics and would be willing to come for less.”
“Once it got down to the end, I think his ego kicked back in,” Allen said. “He wanted the dollars. I guess it comes down to ‘What is a championship worth to you?’
“Think of all the guys who have made $20 million and could be considered one of the best ever, but they get chided because they never won. We [the Big Three] all had to do less when we won. We’re still taking less to make it work. But it’s worth it. No one can ever say to KG, Paul or me, ‘You guys never got your ring.'”
As a guy who’s never actually seen one million dollars in one place ever in his life, I have a hard time ripping a person for choosing to make a million or two more dollars over not making a million or two more dollars regardless of the situation. I understand he was already going to make eight million in Boston, but two million more to play in Indiana is still two million more. That’s just me though I guess.
I’m not an NBA player who has already banked tens of those millions though, so from Ray Allen’s perspective I get where he’s coming from too. West could not only have provided a huge improvement to Boston’s frontline this season, especially now with the absence of Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, and now Jeff Green, but he could have also been a key piece for the Celtics to rebuild reload around moving forward alongside Rondo too.
While Allen summarized West’s decision as being strictly a financial one, MacMullan went on to offer additional details on why he might have chose Indiana in the end over Boston:
Theories abound on why West chose the Pacers over the Celtics. Included among them is the notion that since West opted out of a contract that would have paid him $8.5 million, he needed to “save face” among other players (and agents) by not accepting a Celtics contract that included a first year of just under $8 million, even though the average value over the life of the contract would have been higher.
The other factor could be that West preferred a two-year deal so he could re-establish himself as the two-time All-Star he was before he was injured, rather than commit for three years to a team with an uncertain future.
So there you have it. David West will probably put up solid numbers over the next two seasons for a team with no real chance of winning. He’ll be compensated as much as this current market would’ve allowed him to, and he won’t help Boston win a title. He’ll probably end up retiring having never won one either, and he drastically diminished Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett’s chances of winning one more in the process. Reminding us all once again that the NBA is a business first and basketball second.