David West was rumored to be heading to the Boston Celtics during the first weekend of the NBA free agent period, but a potential sign-and-trade fell apart and West, a two-time All-Star, instead joined the Indiana Pacers on a two-year, $20 million deal.
Reports suggested that the New Orleans Hornets' messy ownership situation led to the failure of the sign-and-trade. The Celtics' Ray Allen, speaking to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan, has a different opinion.
From the piece at ESPN Boston:
"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.'"
Allen isn't usually the type to glorify himself at the expense of other players, so right off the top this is bizarre. But when you look at the actual facts of Allen's supposed selflessness and West's greed, it just doesn't add up.
Ray Allen didn't take less money to win a championship in Boston: he made $16 million in the Celtics' title season. He came to Boston two years into a five-year, $80 million deal. He has signed one contract as a member of the C's: a two-year, $20 million (HMMM) in 2010. By that point, a few weeks from turning 35, he had made $158 million in NBA salary, according to Basketball-Reference.com. He was also the type to earn endorsement money and must be getting crazy royalties on He Got Game.
David West has made $43 million in the NBA, and he's 31, and the supposedly greedy deal he signed in Indiana was for the exact same amount an older, wealthier Ray Allen signed for a year ago. NBA players don't have any business casting public financial aspersions on colleagues regardless; that the facts of this case are so lopsided makes Allen's public whinging even more offensive.
And really, who's to say that at this point the Celtics are any better a title contender than the Pacers? Boston only won
two four more games than Indiana in the playoffs last season, and that was before West joined the Pacers. Allen may want to bite his tongue, lest he get West and the Pacers nice and frothed up.