An Homage to former Pacers PF David West


When the Indiana Pacers take to the floor for the first time in the preseason, fans will be screaming for Paul George. One regular name, though, won’t be heard.

That name is David West.

One of the best professionals to ever grace the NBA in its illustrious, almost 70-year history, West is no longer a member of the Indiana Pacers after having agreed terms with the San Antonio Spurs in the offseason. To the NBA, the Spurs typify the word “dynasty.” When you think of small-market San Antonio, you think of head coach Gregg Popovich, star point guard Tony Parker (who the Pacers passed up on), and of course – “the Big Fundamental” – Tim Duncan. You think of Popovich pre-game, in-game, and post-game press conferences. You think of championships, perhaps even LeBron James and the Miami Heat, and, you think of success.

Success is a word also synonymous with West – both on and off the court.

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One of the greatest memories of West I have was in his second year as a Pacer when he gave away food, gift cards, and toys for underprivileged kids in the Indy area, only saying that young kids should “pay it forward,” and that’s exactly what he wanted to do.

Another excellent example, David West and his wife hosted a Prom Dress giveaway last April for the third straight year, allowing girls in the area to come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, shop around, get fitted, and take the dress home that day. In many ways, what he did off the court outweighed his contributions on – and that doesn’t take anything away from all he gave to the organization as a player.

On the court, West was fearless. A leader, a true general, and very likely the last person you’d want to see giving you “The Scowl.”

Mar 23, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward David West (21) reacts to a foul call during a game against the Houston Rockets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

He’s part of a dying generation of players – one that fights for everything rather than assuming it was theirs for the taking in the first place. David West wasn’t a “clean” player, but he certainly wasn’t dirty. For all the garbage Pacers fans gave LeBron James for complaining about calls, many either didn’t realize West was the same way or simply chose to sweep it under the rug. When you think about the worst possible things a teammate or player could do, though, them complaining constantly about calls probably isn’t up there with, say, bringing a gun to the arena or publicly admitting that defense wasn’t for you.

The biggest regret I have, and he may as well, is not seeing the Pacers reach their goal of getting to the NBA Finals and winning a championship. They came close, no doubt, but in those days Miami was almost unstoppable and West’s teammates didn’t always help in the best ways they could, but the opportunity was there for the taking and they couldn’t make it happen.

Almost as admirable as they way he came, though, was the way he left. West reportedly passed up a cool $11 million to make the move down south. He told Adrian Wojnarowski that part of the decision was also the way Larry Bird slammed Hibbert to the media and that he felt the locker room culture was changing. Nothing lasts forever, they say.

Regardless of on the court achievements, David West will always be known as one of the fan favorites and a true pro in every sense of the word. I guess Mr. West has officially left the building.

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