West blocks Allen's bad shot

Dec. 22, 2011


David West (L) responded to criticism from Ray Allen. (NBAE/Getty Images)
There may not be less likely candidates in the NBA for a verbal joust than David West and Ray Allen. Both have well-earned reputations as high-class, no-nonsense pros who understand, appreciate and respect the game -- not to mention play it at an extraordinarily high level.

And yet here we are.

Allen fired up a verbal broadside at West earlier this week when asked about the veteran power forward's decision to sign with the Pacers rather than accept a sign-and-trade that would've sent him to Boston.

"Once it got down to the end, I think his ego kicked back in," Allen told Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com. "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 K.G. (Kevin Garnett), Paul (Pierce) or me, 'You guys never got your ring.' "

Allen has allowed his obvious disappointment at West's decision to cloud his judgment. For one thing, West left money on the table to come to Indiana; the deal he would've signed to facilitate the move to Boston was for three years, compared to two with the Pacers. For another, West made it clear from the moment he arrived he chose Indiana because of the opportunity to win -- not just his season, but for the next several.

From Allen, this was a bad shot, poorly aimed and ill-conceived.

As you might expect, West just swatted it aside.

"What they're dealing with up there is a lot deeper than David West," he said after practice Thursday. "When I was figuring out what I was going to do, everybody that knows me knows I'm a thought person. I don't rush to judgment and the decisions I make are well-thought-out. This was a well-thought-out decision on my part.

"There's a reason why I'm in Indiana and not anywhere else. This team is young and deep with some really good pieces. And it's deep."

Granted, it had to be something of a shock for the Celtics to lose a key free agent to the Pacers. But West looked at both teams, at both franchise, at both situations and made his choice. The Celtics might have a better shot at a ring this year (then again, they might not). But it's impossible to argue which group has a brighter future, short- and long-term.

Pacers cut D-Leaguers from camp

Trimming the roster to 13, the Pacers announced the cuts of free agents Jarrid Famous, Tyren Johnson, Darnell Lazare and Matt Rogers on Thursday. All four were prospects invited from the NBA Developmental League. Each of the players made at least one appearance in one of the Pacers' two preseason games, but none scored.

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