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T.J. Warren has high praise for David West on day he announces his retirement

West has been a mentor for the Suns forward since the age of 10.

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NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran forward David West took to social media on Thursday to announce his retirement from the NBA. West spent 15 seasons in the league, most recently with the Golden State Warriors, with whom he won a pair of NBA championships.

Photo cred: @dez.jpg @autograph_junkie

A post shared by David West (@realdwest30) on

West’s best years were spent with the Hornets. He played eight seasons in New Orleans, where he was twice named an All-Star, then spent time with the Pacers and Spurs before finishing his career with the Warriors.

T.J. Warren had kind words for West upon news of his retirement.

West’s journey to the NBA started at Garner Magnet High School in North Carolina. He played his senior year at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia before four spectacular years at Xavier University. New Orleans selected 18th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft.

T.J. Warren’s path to the NBA started with West’s AAU Garner Road Basketball Club program. Warren joined the program when he was 11 and is the first player from the program to achieve NBA dreams. West provides support to those in the program while his brother Duane is responsible for running the AAU club.

On the night Warren was drafted, he spoke about the influence that West had on his life.

“David has been a mentor to me since a very young age,” the then 20-year-old said. “Since I was 10 years old, just learning from him, from his game. It means a lot to me.”

West was with Warren at the draft and talked about the significance of that night.

“It’s a pretty special moment. We’ve had T.J. since he was 11, his parents trusted us with him,” West said. “They trusted us during the summer to stay on him. They gave us a lot of leeway with him in terms of pushing him. This is something he’s talked about since he was a little kid. Something he’s worked his butt off for; it’s great that it happen for him.”

West told the Arizona Republic in 2014 that Warren knew the two would meet each other in the NBA.

“He told me he was going to do it,” West said this month during the Indiana Pacers’ visit to Phoenix. “When he was about 13 or 14, he told me, ‘I’m going to get up there, Dave, with you.’”

Warren’s words about West provide an interesting look into the mind of one of the quietest players on the Suns’ roster.

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