At the start of this year’s NBA free-agency period, 34-year-old power forward David West opted out of the final year of his three-year, $36.6 million contract with the Indiana Pacers. Today, he signed a contract with the San Antonio Spurs that will pay him $1.4 million. While there are other ways to put it, West just paid more than $11 million to leave the state of Indiana.
Giving up that much money might seem like a bad idea, but I would argue that paying more than $11 million in order to get the hell out of Indiana is a reasonable idea. As proof, I present two stories that Deadspin editor Tim Marchman just told me about Indiana:
We were at a gas station in Gary, Ind., and this lady was smoking a cheroot while filling the tank. We asked her to not smoke right by the open gas tank and she cackled at us. People don’t give a fuck if they live or die in Gary.
Gary is also where I met a dude in the smoking area outside the poker room on a boat casino who told me about how his nickname was “2-7 “and asked me what I thought was the origin of that nickname. It turned out that 2-7 was his “lucky hand,” and that when he gets those in the hole he goes all in. He even had a “2-7” tattoo.
See? You can’t put a price tag on escaping a state like that.
(Really, though, the only reason David West has to wave goodbye to so much money is because the NBA salary cap continues to be one of the biggest scams in sports and it should called out as bullshit every day until it is abolished.)