37-year old David West is still finding a way to produce for the Golden State Warriors off the bench, even at his advanced age. Following a championship victory in his debut season with the Warriors, the forward has upped his contributions even more as he pushes for his second title in as many years after being devoid of that honor in his first 13 seasons as a pro.
Things weren’t always as easy for West as they are now though. West had been a huge part of the Pacers’ core for the 4 years he was there and when it was time for him to make a decision with his player option in summer of 2015, he only had one thing on his mind: a championship. The other option West saw as a possibility was retirement. Following from ESPN’s Chris Haynes:
After David West played in his 1,000th career game on Monday, the Warriors’ reserve forward told ESPN he wouldn’t have reached the milestone if he had chosen to play out his contract with the Indiana Pacers in 2015-16.
“I would have retired, man,” West said after helping the Warriors to a 124-114 win over the Denver Nuggets. “That would have been it, because I wanted to compete for a championship. I needed to experience that. So, if I played out my contract there, that would have been it. I was walking away. I wanted to feel like I was playing for something.”
On the cusp of retirement just over 2 years ago, it’s safe to say David West is pleased with his decision to remain in the NBA. After being an iffy fit with the San Antonio Spurs, West has found his niche within Golden State’s rotation.
The savvy veteran comes in and provides an immediate tough presence in the lane, and can still stretch the floor with his touch from outside. West touched on what makes his fit with Golden State appear so seamless.
“I’m very comfortable out there,” West told ESPN. “I don’t have any pressure in these games. I feel like I can just come out and hoop. I’ve got a good repertoire and rapport with this group. We know each other, so right now it’s just smooth.”
Even with the presence of impressive rookie Jordan Bell, West is playing better than ever with his Warrior comrades. The veteran forward is averaging more rebounds, points, and blocks than last year while shooting 63.9 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point distance.