David West is a Pacer, a big pickup for an Indiana team that barely scrapped into the playoffs last year. They picked up an All-Star power forward who is as good a pick-and-pop big as there is in the game.
But West was almost a Celtic and would have been key to their run at a ring with the big three.
In the end, West chose two years, $20 million from the Pacers over three years, $29 million from the Celtics (it was a complex sign-and-trade that got slowed down because the Hornets didn’t want Jermaine O’Neal back, and we can’t blame them). Ray Allen doesn’t get West’s choice and spoke his mind to ESPNBoston.com.
“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.'”
We don’t know what went into West’s decision — money, lifestyle, that he saw the Pacers as a team with potential down the line. But to call out a guy’s championship heart is pretty harsh.
And as Tom Ziller reminds us, Allen didn’t take less money to come to Boston, he was in the middle of a five-year deal and made $16 million in 2008. He signed an extension at $10 million per.
Ray Allen has just reached the cranky old man phase of his career and is holding nothing back.