Cen­ter David West re­tires af­ter a 15-year NBA ca­reer

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

OAKLAND ( AP) — David West, a key big man and snazzy passer who had a knack for pro­vid­ing a timely lift off the bench dur­ing the Golden State War­riors’ past two cham­pi­onship sea­sons, re­tired Thurs­day.

West’s Twit­ter an­nounce­ment — one day af­ter his 38th birth­day — wasn’t a sur­prise as he made it clear he would take some time af­ter the team’s lat­est ti­tle run to con­tem­plate call­ing it a ca­reer.

“I am hum­bled and thank­ful for the sup­port of my fam­ily, friends, coaches, team­mates, or­ga­ni­za­tions, and fans through­out this ex­pe­ri­ence,” said West, the 18th over­all draft pick by the Hor­nets in 2003 out of Xavier.

He left the Spurs fol­low­ing the 2015-16 sea­son for a chance to chase a cham­pi­onship with the War­riors, and wound up win­ning his first ca­reer ti­tle and then a sec­ond one this past June.

“David was a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional through­out his en­tire ca­reer and was a huge pres­ence in our locker room the last two years,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said in a state­ment. “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. He had the unique abil­ity to con­nect with both the veteran and young play­ers and the men­tor­ing he pro­vided our younger group was in­valu­able. 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.”

A two-time All-Star, West av­er­aged 13.6 points, 6.4 re­bounds and 2.2 as­sists play­ing 1,034 games over a 15-year ca­reer with New Or­leans, In­di­ana, San An­to­nio and the War­riors. He was ac­tive in the com­mu­nity help­ing others.

For so long, West had wanted to be part of Gregg Popovich’s sto­ried Spurs fran­chise, say­ing it was on his “bucket list,” then the cen­ter landed in the Bay Area on a star-stud­ded ros­ter fea­tur­ing All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Du­rant, Dray­mond Green and Klay Thomp­son — and he found his per­fect fit as a re­li­able role player for Kerr . With West, Zaza Pachu­lia and JaVale McGee, Golden State had a dis­tinct trio of cen­ters to keep opponents guess­ing.

West said he is grate­ful and thanked ev­ery­one for the sup­port while say­ing, “I have been for­tu­nate enough to live out my child­hood dream of play­ing in the NBA.”

“There should be a pic­ture in the dic­tio­nary of David un­der ‘pro’s pro,’” War­riors gen­eral man­ager Bob My­ers said. “He’s one of the most de­cent peo­ple I’ve ever met. His depth of char­ac­ter is un­matched. We are all bet­ter for hav­ing spent the last two years with him. There is no doubt the best is ahead of him.”


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