This news isn’t exactly surprising, but it’s certainly poignant: David West is retiring. He announced it in a truly David West way.
“We are but a collection of our experiences,” the statement reads. “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 non-negotiable. Cheers!”
West is certainly going out on top, after winning titles the last two years with the Golden State Warriors. Last year he averaged 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game, proving that he can very much still play. This was definitely a case of retiring when he wanted to, not when he had to.
The former 18th overall pick played 15 years in the NBA for four franchises, and was named an All-Star twice. Prior to the 2015-16 season he famously opted out of a lucrative contract with the Indiana Pacers, choosing to leave eight figures on the table so that he could contend with the San Antonia Spurs.
He joined the Warriors the next year on a veteran’s minimum, and provided toughness, intelligence, strong defense, and some brilliant passing from the high elbow, then he repeated all of that last year.
In addition to his great play (he retires with career averages of 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 0.8 blocks per game), West was one of the strongest voices in the game, always willing to share his thoughtful, intelligent voice on social issues.
He’ll be missed, but it will be fun to see what he decides to do with retirement.