When you look at the Golden State Warriors team that has won 2 championships in a row, names like Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson will pop into your mind as the key factors that resulted in those back-to-back titles. However, players like David West were the brains behind the ball and really helped orchestrate those back-to-back titles. And that is why West announcing his retirement leaves any NBA fan with a sad heart.
West, who’s played in the NBA for 15 seasons for teams like the Hornets, Pacers, Spurs, and finally Warriors, announced his retirement via social media on Thursday afternoon. He posted the following message to his personal Instagram account:
I have been fortunate enough to live out my childhood dream of playing in the NBA. After 15 seasons, I have decided to retire from the game of basketball. I am humbled and thankful for the support of my family, friends, coaches, teammates, organizations and fans throughout this experience. To anyone who has ever cheered me on, been in my corner, prayed or simply said a nice word on my behalf, I am grateful. Belief in yourself is not negotiable. Cheers!”
West averaged just 6.8 PPG on a career-best 57.1% from the field, as well as 3.3 RPG, and 1.9 APG last season with the Warriors, but his knowledge, leadership, and experience have made him an asset that is highly unmatched by most other players. He acts as a leader, both to the veterans and the young talents. West’s presence was felt the moment he step foot in the locker room. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had this to say in reaction to West’s retirement:
“David [West] was a consummate professional throughout his entire career and was a huge presence in our locker room the last two years. The respect that he commanded was palpable every single day he walked in the door, and the leadership that he provided to our team was critical to our success… The consistency that he displayed at a high level on the court for 15 years was amazing and a testament to his hard work and dedication. He is a true champion in every sense of the word.”
West, for his career, averaged a solid 13.6 PPG, as well as 6.4 RPG, 2.2 APG, .7 SPG, and .8 BPG, while shooting a staggering 49.5% from the field. But it seems like West’s life is just getting started. He seems to have great plans for the future and vows that basketball was just one chapter in his book. Last January, he had this to say about his next goals in life:
“I don’t feel like this is the pinnacle of my existence. I’ve been fortunate to have a good professional basketball career, but I’ll be under 40 years old when this is all said and done with, and I hopefully got another 40-plus years of life left. That’s another opportunity to ascend to another realm and be great at something else. That’s sort of how I look at life.”
Well, David West, thank you for all the memories and enjoy retirement like the champion you were, are, and will always be, and we, as NBA fans, will always be appreciative of all you’ve done.