For a while there, in early December, it really seemed like David West was going to be a Boston Celtic. When you consider that he’s an aging, yet successful veteran who is coming off a major surgery, it seemed like a perfect fit. Boston loves those kinds of guys.

All the Hornets and Celtics needed to do was dot the T’s and cross the I’s and West was going to be headed to the C’s. Sure, the sign-and-trade was going to be tricky — and the Celtics weren’t going to be able to offer quite as much money as West was seeking, but that’s OK because he’d still be making millions of dollars, is coming off an injury and will have a shot at another big contract — but it was going to happen.

Then, suddenly, David West was inking an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers, a young team that’s a few years away from competing and has three talented guys who can play power forward on the roster. ‘Twas a curious move, which is exactly why Ray Allen is dogging him out for chasing an easy payday. From ESPN:

Count veteran Ray Allen among those who can’t believe West chose Indiana over Boston with such a slim difference in compensation.

“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.”

So why does Allen think West had a change of heart?

“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?’

You don’t often see that blatant of “this guy is in it for the wrong reasons” comments, but Ray Allen went there. From a guy who’s usually quiet, friendly and only seems like he’s only sneering all the time when in reality he just has flared nostrils, this is quite the accusation. All it’s missing is a “David West is dead to me” to really complete the thought. Pretty harsh.

But I can’t say I disagree. As much as Tas Melas might love the Pacers, they’re not challenging for a title this year. Or next year. Or maybe even the year after that, when David West has presumably moved on. At age 31, with an appearance in the conference semifinals the greatest success he’s enjoyed, it’s easy to assume that West would want to chase a ring. No one’s saying signing with the Celtics makes that happen, but it’s far more likely than playing with the Pacers.

Then again, as Skeets mentioned a while back, this is a good move for David West. It’s a short, lucrative contract where he can prove that his knee isn’t bothering him and still enjoy one more nice deal before he really starts chasing a ring. Can’t fault a guy for getting paid while he still can.

Plus, as it turns out, this might be the beginning of a new and beautiful rivalry. The Celtics thrive in the role of agitators, so beefing with the Pacers might be a nice way for them to reinvigorate all their old dudes. At the very least, it’ll be fun for us to watch two of the nicest guys in the league snipe at each other through the media.

Comments (13)

  1. I think it’s sweet that Ray Allen thinks the Celtics can still win a championship

  2. cranky old dudes

  3. Hmm, young up and coming team for more money, or old-n-busted roster for less money. Tough one…

  4. The Celtics with David West would absolutely contend if healthy. They needed more offense and he’d provide it… Plus at the time we didn’t know Green would be out so they’d have lots of front court depth.. It was crushing when it didn’t happen. People have all kinds of reasons for choosing who to sign with and they should be free from judgement but I agree with ray that it’s surprising. I think he likes the 2 year deal and the chance to be a stud and earn another big deal. I agree with the others that without West, unless they can get another scorer, these Cs can’t beat Miami.

  5. David West IS dead to me. Good luck in Indy where Hansbrough will be more productive for less money.

  6. Nick L – scoring is not what the Celtics need, they need people who can still guard Lebron and Wade, and even Bosh. KG got torched by Amare last year and Bosh didnt do too bad. Pierce/Ray can not guard Wade/Lebron.

  7. West is only 31. He’s still got a couple of years left of good seasons being a starter. Indiana is by no means a championship contendor, but they are definitely playoff worthy team that can make a run to 2nd round of the playoffs.

    So why not get a shot at being the starting PF on a playoff team instead of a role player on Boston since they have a small window of opportunity now. Come on Ray, he’s not nearing retirement like Boston’s big 3 is…

  8. So when David West “wants the dollars” it’s bad, but when Ray Allen’s golfing at Augusta with his private banker, that’s got nothing to do with money? Am I getting that right??

  9. I thought the trade failed to go through because Boston couldn’t find a team willing to take Jermaine O’Neal’s contract.

  10. First thing Celtics are old as hell and they would offer him less money and he is a pf not a center i know they would move Garnett to put him at the pf spot but Indiana has a better roster and strong plays at each position and a great bench so Indiana is the right move and he gets more money also the Celtics have no chance to win a championship they lost their chance in the 2010 finals the big 3 in Boston only got one ring and Ray Allen really has no right or need to call out David West he has the right to go anywhere he will probably like playing in Indiana more than Boston after it is all said and done

  11. oh boo hoo, poor fricking boston.

  12. Get guys who can defend Lebron and Wade? What fucking team has that??

    Offense is why they lost game 7 2 years ago and why they swooned last year….it’s a problem.

  13. @smk73

    Exactly, it’s easy for Ray to talk about money like it’s nothing because he already got (over)paid. Dude’s pretty out of touch to talk about sacrifice while he makes $10 million a year.

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