On the one hand, there was $11 million dollars of guaranteed money. On the other was a chance for a championship, albeit for much, much less money. When it came time for David West to make a choice between the two, he didn’t need much time at all.
As Ananth Pandian of CBS describes:
“It wasn’t really a difficult decision,” West said confidently and quietly at the Spurs’ media day. “I guess it’s just the nature of it. Everybody is just focused on money right now, I guess it’s just the society that we’re living in. But truth be told, it wasn’t a big decision for me or my family. I’ve been preparing to put myself in this position to choose what I wanted to do in my career from day one.
“I’ve always been very strategic in that manner,” West continued. “This was a very calculated decision, it wasn’t something that was made using emotions or anything like that. It was very calculated, very thought out. In examining where I was, who I am as a player, as a person, I felt like this environment would be best suited for me at this moment. It wasn’t necessarily about what I was giving up but more about what I’m looking to gain.”
West has had a lucrative and successful career. One thing he hasn’t achieved yet is every player’s ultimate goal: a championship.
While the Pacers reloaded to a certain degree, they weren’t getting past the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Chicago Bulls to the NBA Finals (there’s also the matter of Roy Hibbert’s departure to consider, something which greatly displeased West). The Spurs reloaded, too. Except, whereas the Pacers’ improvement moves the needle slightly, the Spurs’ improvement – most notably and obviously, the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge – changed the entire landscape of the NBA.
If West really didn’t care about the money and only cared about winning it all, the choice was always going to be easy. Sure, he sacrificed money, but if the Spurs win the championship, is it really that much of a sacrifice to a player it has eluded for so long?
(Via CBS Sports)