Indiana Pacers Add Steady Veteran in David West

December 15, 2011 – 7:40 am by Eric Schmoldt

The Indiana Pacers seems to be rebuilding the New Orleans Hornets. You know, except for that Chris Paul guy. After trading for former Hornets Darren Collison and James Posey a little more than a year ago, the Pacers have now signed free agent David West, who spent his first eight years in the NBA with the Hornets.

It could be a plan that works. Collison really broke onto the scene when Chris Paul was hurt and he was playing with West. The Pacers also have some pretty nice pieces all around. Am I saying they can win it all? No, but the roster looks like a playoff team to me.

David West joined 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis with JMV to discuss why he decided to sign with the Pacers, if it was nice to be with a team that really wanted and needed him, how his knee is doing, whether rehab has been tougher physically or mentally, playing with Collison again and, as a former Xavier player, the brawl with Cincinnati.

What made the Pacers such a nice fit?:

“Just the opportunity to add to a good, young core, the chance to improve and really win. This is one of the deepest teams in the NBA in terms of positioning. It’s going to be a fun ride. … This was an easy decision, really.”

Is it nice to know you’re really wanted and needed in Indiana?:

“Yeah, it does. It’s a great opportunity. There’s some dynamics here that I haven’t had the opportunity of having in terms of my career. My intention is to add to this group. I don’t want to detract; I want to add. Obviously it’s going to take some time to get familiar with the guys and personalities and the coaching and the philosophy and the terminology. I’m going to do all I can and do it diligently.”

How’s the left knee?:

“It’s good. I’ve seen countless doctors … all that good stuff and I’m confident in the rehab I’ve done, the work that I’ve done, to get myself back in good shape and ready to go.”

Psychologically or physically, what was the toughest part?:

“Really just the rehab. I stayed committed to it, concentrated on it about six days a week, for eight months, to get back where I needed to be. I’m pretty confident in what I’ve done. There’s been no vacationing, no family time, no nothing. It’s been all about just getting myself healthy and out here and ready to make an impact.”

Are you close or have you been close to any of the guys on this team?:

“Yeah, I had the opportunity to play with Darren Collison his rookie year, so we developed a friendship and we’ve stayed in touch and remained friends since that point. He’s one of the factors that got me here in terms of, he’s been sending me text messages and calling. … I know Danny (Granger). I’m familiar with Roy (Hibbert). … I’m really intrigued by some of the young guys the have. … Once, I think, we get past that unfamiliarity and learning each other’s things, I think it’s going to be a good match.”

As a former Xavier player, what was it like to watch things boil over with Cincinnati?:

“I thought  at that moment of the game … there’s just no place for that in that moment of the game. It’s one of the most heated rivalries in sports. It’s actually been boiling and boiling and boiling for years. The fact that there was some younger guys involved … the game was won and things were over with.”

Listen to David West on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis here

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