Delonte West was cut for disciplinary reasons before the start of last season by the Dallas Mavericks, probably the most player friendly organization in the NBA. After that he couldn’t find another NBA gig, spent a little time in the D-League, but basically sat out last season.
Now he is hoping to get a chance at a comeback.
West is hoping to get one more chance and told Tzvi Twersky at SLAM he’s the kind of guard off the bench who could put a team over the top.
“I had tears in my eyes watching games this past year—not because I’m bipolar, but because I’m sitting at home and miss the game” West says. “When my agent calls, I’m going to be on the next flight. Not to be cocky, but some teams that are trying to win are one guard away, one guy that can make a couple great plays away from going to the Finals.
“Well, I’m right here,” he continues. “Y’all know it and I know it.”
Talent isn’t the question. West is 29 and his last season in Dallas he averaged 9.6 points a game, shot 35.5 percent from three and had a PER right at the league average of 15.3. He brings versatility to the table — West can penetrate, dish, knock down open looks and is a solid defender.
The question is would he be worth the potential distractions?
Remember this is the guy who gave Gordon Hayward a “Wet Willie” during an NBA game, who has been arrested on gun charges (something he thought was blown out of proportion), who is dealing with a bipolar disorder. He is a guy that was enough of a problem off the court that a Mavericks team in desperate need of point guard depth let him go and wouldn’t bring him back.
West says now he wants to return and be focused on just basketball.
“I watched the NBA all last year,” says West. “What I ended up saying to myself is, Let me stop playing around; let me get back on the path that I was on; let me get into my groove….
“When I get another chance, I’m going to put the blinders on,” vows West. “After this, I’m just breaking free of that stigma, letting stuff go, putting that stuff behind me. I’m going to show that I’ve grown, stats-wise and person-wise.”
The question is, will anyone give him that chance?