I've said it before and I'll say it again. Coming to Boston for a discounted price just to have a better opportunity to win a championship doesn't carry the same weight that it used to.
See Exhibit A: David West. The Hornets and Celtics were all set to complete a sign-and-trade that would have brought West to Boston for three years at just under $10 million per season. Before everything was finalized, Indiana swooped in with more money and the next thing you know, West is holding up a Pacers uniform during a press conference in Indianapolis. Does West have a better chance to win a title in Indy? Absolutely not. From the outside looking in, it appears that West went for the bigger bucks and left the Celtics hanging.
Apparently, Ray Allen also looked at the David West situation from the outside looking in. (ESPN Boston)
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?'
"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.'"
A little surprising, don't you think? Especially coming from a guy like Ray who is almost always saying the politically correct thing whenever there's a camera in his face or a journalist standing next to him taking notes. I mean, he just called out David West's heart and desire to win a championship in front of God and everyone else. That isn't something that you can spin and say that it was taken out of context. It's right there in black and white—or green and white in this instance.
That being said, Ray has a point. The Pacers aren't going to contend for a title this year or next year. I'm not saying that the Celtics are elite contenders right now either, but their chances of making a championship run this year are far and away better than the chance of Indiana making that same push.
In the end, West did enough to prove to teams that he was healthy enough to warrant a lucrative deal. I can't hate on that. I just selfishly wish that he had chosen Boston.