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David West on passing up $11 million: 'I just want to win games'

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

David West has earned more than $87 million over his 12-year career. What he lacks is a ring.

That's why West turned down a $12-million player option with the Indiana Pacers to become a free agent this summer. West signed for the veteran's minimum to join the San Antonio Spurs.

In doing so, West forfeited $10.5 million to jump from a decidedly average Pacers squad to a top-tier club.

The price was steep, but it was worth the cost for West.

"At this point, I just want to win games," West told WRAL-FM in Raleigh. "I feel like I’m in a position to where I had a choice to make. I just chose to give myself a chance to win. The Spurs have an unbelievable culture. I just want an opportunity to be in that system and experience it and see what comes of it."

In fact, the Spurs have been the apple of West's eye dating back to his memorable seasons with the New Orleans Hornets.

"Ultimately just knowing who they are, competing against them for the years I was in New Orleans, developing an appreciation for what they do from afar. Naturally it was just one of those places that was always in my mind as a place I could potentially play."

West, 34, will compete for a title with the reloaded Spurs alongside prized free-agent signing LaMarcus Aldridge.

But unlike other aging ring-chasers, West remains a tremendously productive player. He averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists with the Pacers last season, while shooting a blistering 50.2 percent from 16 feet out to the 3-point line. West projects to serve as the Spurs' first big off the bench behind Aldridge and Tim Duncan.

- With h/t to San Antonio News-Express

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