Veteran NBA forward David West has lost his mind. The 34-year-old former All-Star just pulled off the craziest free agent move in sports history by taking a gargantuan pay cut to play for the San Antonio Spurs.
West opted out of the last year of his contract with the Indiana Pacers, leaving $12.2 million on the table. Believing the Spurs give him the best chance to win the NBA title that has eluded him for 12 years, West signed with San Antonio for the veteran’s minimum of $1.5 million.
“At this point in my career, I just want to win,” West told Indianapolis TV station WTHR. Most of the reaction from the sports media has been positive, praising West for putting competition above compensation.
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He’s really being a fool. This is not the same as Ray Allen, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade taking pay cuts to win a title together. Sure, they took reductions, but nothing out of this world like West. The NBA Player’s Association needs to step in and investigate how the Spurs pulled off the steal of the free-agency period.
San Antonio’s head coach Gregg Popovich, a former player who knows how grueling an NBA season can be, should be ashamed of himself for allowing West to make such a ridiculous decision. He took advantage of West’s emotions.
After taxes, West will probably clear around $600,000. And he still has to pay for the cost of living in two places. It’s not like he’s just going to sell his house in Indiana in one day. Has anyone ever seen an NFL, NBA, or MLB owner cut into their profits to give breaks to poor people who can’t afford to attend games? No.
West needs a psychological evaluation. When an athlete kisses $11 million good-bye without thinking about his future is a prime example of why he will end up broke. When West retires, he is not going to find another job that pays hims more than ten million dollars a year.
That’s when he will regret it.