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Delonte West: Craziest Player in the NBA?
Professional sports highlight the heroic. Champions emerge and save the day. Dynasties of power, talent and money to burn lay waste to the weak in any given sport. We cheer our heroes on and bleed when they go down with knee injuries and back spasms. The LeBrons, Mannings, and Jeters are our gladiators. We also have our villains who conjure up boundless hate as we scream at television sets in anger.
And of course, we have our crazies.
Each league has its share of bona-fide nut jobs. The NBA is no exception. In many ways they lead the herd of hysteria with notable recent examples in Stephen Jackson, Metta World Peace, J.R. Smith, Chris Andersen, Stephon Marbury and Gilbert Arenas.
One name that stands out as a player who may literally have no conscience ( and not the good “I can’t stop scoring” kind) is Delonte West.
The 29-year-old shooting guard from Saint Joseph’s University has played on six different NBA teams (two stints with Boston and Cleveland, one with Dallas and one with Seattle). He averages 9.7 points and 3.2 assists per game for his career.
If the resume stopped here, West would look like a serviceable NBA journeyman who could help lead a second unit on a quality team.
But it doesn’t stop here.
Behold the strange and sad case of Mr. West.
Where to begin with the troubled life of West? Why not his 2009 arrest when West was pulled over on his 3-wheeled motorcycle for a traffic violation. During the stop, police found a 9mm Beretta pistol, .357 Magnum and a Remington 870 stuffed into a guitar case. Once police realized West was not trying to replace Antonio Banderas in a new Desperado flick, the NBA guard was arrested and later pled guilty to traffic and weapons charges.
Gun charges for an NBA player are, unfortunately, not enough to have one ranked as the craziest of the crazies. However, sleeping with the mother of the league’s current greatest player certainly helps.
Rumors have swelled since 2010, when West played alongside LeBron James on the Cavs, that he had an affair with James’ mother, Gloria.
Surely, this was nothing more than a vengeful rumor meant to disrupt the Cavs in the Eastern Conference playoffs, right?
Not according to Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy, who told an ESPN Houston radio station the following:
“Unfortunately, my sources in the NBA tell me that it’s absolutely true. My sources, and they’re legit, tell me that the only people that didn’t know it was happening was LeBron and me.”
Being involved in the lives of your fellow teammate’s family members is one thing, sleeping with their mothers (allegedly) is quite another. While this whole debacle may be pure fiction, I can’t help myself in saying that while Lebron took his talents South, LeBron’s mom went West. Again, I must reiterate, supposedly.
So now we have some good ammo to anoint West as the craziest player in and around the NBA. Yet it doesn’t end there. While we await the return of D-Rose, let’s look at the trials and tribulations that paved the return of D-West. Here’s a rundown of West’s wayward ways:
- Due to his previously mentioned 2009 arrest, West could not attend the White House where President Obama congratulated the Dallas Mavericks on their 2011 championship (Dallas picked up West prior to the start of the 2012 season).
- During the 2012 lockout, West (despite making millions up to this point) filled out an application to work the stockroom at Regency furniture. When that unavoidable question of “have you ever been convicted of a crime” came up, West gives the best answer ever (Misunderstanding). Check out the application below.
- Times were very rough for West during the lockout. Reports of him sleeping in the Mavs locker room as well as in his car were rampant. Apparently, Gloria James didn’t have the heart to put him up during these harsh times.
It’s no secret that West suffers from bipolar disorder, which can rob a person of regulated emotions. That he has come so far is a celebration of his character. That he has fallen so far is a testament that West needs continued care to manage his issues.
This past Saturday West mad his debut with the Texas Legends in the D-League, putting up a very respectable ten points, four rebounds and five assists to go along with six turnovers. Granted, it is the D-League, but this production leaves little doubt that West can find his way back into an NBA uniform. Hopefully his mind will follow what his body can do.
With his reemergence in the D-League, teams like the Knicks are keeping an eye on West with the hope that this troubled player can offer the slumping squad a spark as they stumble towards the playoffs.
And there is no doubt that Delonte West can deliver quality minutes on the court. The guy is a contributor. Perhaps this resurrection will show the NBA that West is back in game shape both physically and mentally. Kudos to whichever team takes a gamble on West. Things should be fine just as long as he takes his meds, keeps his guns locked away and doesn’t pine for the days of moving sofas to the front room at Regency furniture .
Of course there is one rule that rises above all else when dealing with Delonte West. This rule should be approached with the same urgent importance that comes with never feeding a Mogwai after midnight. Whatever team gives West a shot they should never, under any circumstances, introduce him to their mothers.
So who do you think is the craziest NBA player? Vote now!
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