When last we saw Delonte West, the Dallas Mavericks — arguably the most player-friendly organization in the NBA — let him go at the end of training camp after he clashed with management. He couldn’t get back into the league after that.
West is trying to get back his image and his NBA life. He talked openly with Slate about being perceived as a person he is not. Yes, he has battled a bipolar disorder, and as we have seen with Royce White and others fitting that kind of mental challenge into the NBA life is not easy. But a lot of things rumored to have happened didn’t (nobody reasonable around the league buys the LeBron rumor, only fans seeking titillation latch on).
West is trying to get back in the league at age 30. That is going to start this summer in the D-League, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
Can he make it back?
Talent isn’t the question. Back in 2012, his last season in Dallas, West 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. A lot of teams could use a guy like him as a veteran backup point guard.
The question is would he be worth the potential distractions? 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 has presented a series of challenges for teams that had him. The Mavericks let him go for a reason.
But if he can prove the off-the-court stuff is in the past, he can make it on the court. That starts in Las Vegas in July.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.