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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  39 responses

Delonte West: Missing in Action

by Marcel Mutoni

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, training camp — like the rest of the season — was supposed to be largely about one thing: Shaq and LeBron’s uneasy co-existence. Instead, a funny (and perhaps worrisome) thing has happened along the way. The focus in Cleveland, for the time being, is on another player.

Since his arrest a couple of weeks ago, Delonte West hasn’t been on a basketball court. Which means he didn’t take part in the Cavs’ first day of practice, something the team did its best to diffuse. West did not show up for morning or night-time practices yesterday, an absence that was deemed as “unexcused.”

The Plain Dealer has more:

“Delonte is in Cleveland,” Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry said in a statement. “He is addressing a personal matter and did not attend practice.”

“On a personal note, you always hope he’s doing well,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “But I have to continue looking forward and coaching this team. Whether it is Delonte or somebody else, if they miss practice and it is unexcused it will be handled internally.”

Not to play doctor here, but with Delonte’s well-documented mental health issues, one can’t help but get the feeling that this situation could turn dicey if the Cavs don’t handle it delicately. Mike Brown may not be pleased with West’s absence from training camp, but he and the rest of the organization must tread carefully here.

It’s going to be an interesting, and wholly dramatic year in Cleveland. What no one had previously considered, is that the source of the drama may not always be the team’s two megastars.

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  • Nupe

    This could be the Cavs year and I hope D-West gets better soon. Don’t know much about bi-polar disorder but I hope he gets back on the right track, keeps up with his meds and helps the Cavs make a run. They are a much better team this year than last but they gonna need all the help they can get.

  • Boston Baller

    and….

  • deo_in_the_bay

    who the f#$% cares??

  • http://twitter.com/SandSeraph Sandy Dover

    Also, Delonte was extremely gaunt in the face during Media Day. It wasn’t looking good for him. If I were Ferry Boy or Mike Brown, I’d actually gauge his status, maybe de-activate him if he’s not going to be productive…maybe look for an injury exception allowance from the league office.

    I hope he gets it together, for his sake.

  • neaorin

    Practice?

  • Clark

    Do they have anyone else at SG? Who is the logical starter if West is out? Anthony Parker?

  • http://twitter.com/SandSeraph Sandy Dover

    Parker, rookie Danny Green, LeBron would be an excellent choice.

  • StormFya

    This is too bad to see. Just when things begin to good extremely well for his team, he makes this dumb slip up. And now, not showing up is compounding the situation. There’s no right or delicate way for the Cavs management to handle this. He’s making it worse all by himself. The Cavs will need to continue looking toward to future, with or without West. Still time to trade and there are plenty of guys available that can do what he does for the team and in some cases, better.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I noticed that, too Sandy. I hope he’s being closely monitored. Bipolar Disorder can be quite serious, especially if the meds are not taken consistently. I really wish this kid well and hope the folks in Cleveland handle this well.

  • http://jesse.dramer@gmail.com dirty frank

    Get well Delonte.

  • Hussman25

    I work in the MH (Mental Health)field and see how Bipolar/depression affects individuals… This is a very touchy matter and a hasty move by the Cavs may be a bad thing for Delonte’s MH state, which may be the final straw! This may be the only thing that is productive in his life and if taken away, would NOT BE A GOOD THING! Ferry, please treat this very carefully! U don’t want any bad press especially with the Cavs so close to a ring…

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    I guess Anthony Parker is once again a starter.

  • burnt_chicken

    lets give delonte the love he deserves,
    and quiet the hate he hears.

    come back stronger, brother redbush.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I feel bad for Delonte. I always liked dude.

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    i like delonte, but damn.

    3 guns? on a weird motorcycle thing?

  • ClydeSays

    I liked Delonte alot when he was with the C’s. He had a great attitude, always hustled on the court & is one funny dude. And I respect him for coming out about his illness.

    But this arrest has got to be taken seriously.

    IF he was off his meds & carrying around 3 unlicensed, loaded weapons while he was speeding around on his motorcycle, I can’t imagine that would be taken lightly by the team, the NBA or local law.

    Here’s hoping he gets the help he needs.

  • riggs

    why the hell should he be at practice? dudes going through a tough time in his life AND in his mind.

  • mumadone

    he don’t do the valet……chi chi chipotle…..
    juice in my lap, in the lac, ridin back, cadillac, chicken mayn

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    someone seriously needs to explain the sore/sores on his face and we all should quit ignoring it

  • mumadone

    maybe from to much hot sauce in his baaaaaaaag

  • la huey

    he’s taking some time to reload…he’s actually my favorite Cav and I hope gets himself straight.

  • http://www.myspace.com/weezyleezy337 Gametime Weezy

    he’s an idiot. now heres a team that has a chance 2 do big things this year…man u runnin wit lebron and shaq! get it together! they dont need your distractions!

  • dial up

    I think ima wait until i hear the amber alert on CNN: “MISSING PERSON: DELONTE 6’6 CAVS GUARD, ARMED, & DEPRESSED” call if you receive any tips.

  • black pinoy

    why rush the man to play.. if he’s having some issues then let him rest for a month rather than force him to play and lose him in the playoffs // its gonna be a shame if they dont win this year

  • black pinoy

    why rush the man to play.. if he’s having some issues then let him rest for a month rather than force him to play and lose him in the playoffs // its gonna be a shame if they dont win this year

  • Marc

    Cavs ain’t winning anything this year with or without DWest.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    At the same time, as Mike Brown pointed, his job is to coach the Cavs. Delonte’s role on this year’s team would have been reduced anyways as Mike Brown really pressed the organization for length. AP will start, Danny Greene and Jamario Moon will backup both wings. Boobie, it’s your time to learn the point or ride the bench. At this point, I’d be okay with letting him walk or trading him for a solid back-up pg. Of course, I want him to get all the help he needs but a basketball decision has to be made too. / Marcel, why is the relationship between Shaq and Bron uneasy already? I think they’ve been very genuine in saying that they don’t really hang out together that much but they both respect each other’s games and have a common goal. I think that’s fair, they didn’t BS some phony ish like they call each other everyday.

  • http://www.oprah.com doyouwantmore

    Parker’s not exactly a point guard, but he might actually be really suited to bringing up the ball in this system. In Raptorland they needed a playmaker out of their PG but in Cleveland they basically need a mature shooter with good defensive skills and a calm head. LBJ is the playmaker. I’m actually glad I sort of have a reason to root for the Cavs now that Anthony Parker plays for them. Plus, if they get a ring now, Shaq can say Lebron couldn’t get it done until the Big Mercenary came along.

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    He’s attending the annual NRA convention

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Nah Anton, he’s at the Punisher fanclub convention.

  • Royal

    What ever happened to that guy always commented “trade him for shaq”?? I kinda miss that

  • black pinoy

    @ MARC …id still say only three teams are really competing for it this season.. lakers,cleveland, and boston.. okey lets make it 4 and add orlando though i doubt they get past cleveland and boston…seriously…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    ^Even that man, thought it was nicko or riggs, (I’m probably wrong though) has more sense than to say trade a guy for a guy already on the team.
    -
    Already on part 2?
    M.I.A. = the tagline of the sequel. Like “Payback,” or “Return of the Chipotle:Chicken Mayne”

  • jay

    OMG, HOW IS ALL THIS AFFECTING LEBRON?? poor guy, I see how hard all this must be on him. I am disgusted by these so called “sports journalists’”, not reporting or writing several thousand pieces on how all this has taken quite a toll on Lebron, you know because he’s such a great team mate and all. Get well soon Lebron, oh and you too, the guy with jersey no.13.

  • ENDS

    Slam ur Slacking! Why is there no story about DeShawn Stevenson’s new Abe Linclon and Crackhead Tattoo

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    quite a reach for sarcasm, jay.

  • Kris

    Hopefully Delonte gets back on the court soon after dealing with his legal matters and such.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Spaceship Jay

    Someone on this post has had to have seen Desperado before.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Delonte West’s Wife Files Domestic Violence Report

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