David West almost became a Celtic in the winter of 2011 and he seems pretty content with the "almost" part.
West turned down a three-year $29 million offer from Boston to go to the Pacers for two years and $20 million. He said the reason he decided against suiting up in green was because of the advanced age of the Celtics roster.
"The age. More than anything the age. You go from trying to win a championship year after year after year, and then at some point you know the window is going to close," said West after amassing 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in handing the Celtics their sixth straight defeat. "That’s just how the league works. I think most teams go through it at some point, and it just so happens that they’re going through it right now."
Boston certainly could have used West when they pushed Miami to seven games during the 2012 playoffs and may have even brought home banner 18 had the power forward decided to come to the Celtics. But West was looking for a team with a slightly longer championship window and he certainly has that with the powerhouse Pacers.
"Absolutely," reiterated West, who re-signed in Indiana for three years and $36.6 million this past summer. "I felt like the window here was a little different. Boston may have been able to compete that first year, but now it’s different. That was part of the thought process: How long would they keep that group together? And ultimately at this stage I just wanted to be part of a team that was going to compete these next few years for a championship."
It's hard to fault West for picking a team that looks to be setup for contention for many years to come. No one knew back in 2011 that second-year player Paul George would turn into a legit MVP candidate, Roy Hibbert would turn into one of the best centers in the league and the Pacers would become one of the best teams in the league all with their former franchise player Danny Granger on the sidelines.
Even still, if Indiana never wins the title, West may look back on his choice a little differently. Being on a contender for several years is nice, but winning a ring is winning a ring and he may have lost his best chance back in 2011-12 with Boston. If the Pacers do get past LeBron James and win a ring, then expect West to keep smiling.
@ericblaisdell13 Eric Blaisdell 11/25/2013 01:45:00 PM Tweet