Tag: White House

Delonte West pushing car

Delonte West can’t attend White House ceremony, goes on Twitter rant against media


Wow, there hasn’t really been a lot of Delonte West news this year, has there? Things have been pretty quiet. Yup, guess he’s put all that drama behi… oh. OK, maybe not.

So first off, a pretty good quote from West, who it turns out thanks to his weapons charge from several years ago, you know, the one where he had a bunch of weaponry stuffed in a guitar case strapped to his back on the highway while he was riding a three-wheeled motorcycle, that one, can’t attend the White House on Monday along with his Mavericks teammates who are celebrating their championship. (Well, kind of. The former Mavericks won’t be there, and considering how much of an impact J.J. Barea and Tyson Chandler had to do with last year’s playoffs… that’s a little weird. But whatever, this happens every year.)

From the Star-Telegram:

“I’m banned from going to the White House, so I’m not going to make it,’’ West said after tonight’s 96-81 win over the New Orleans Hornets. “But I’m going home to D.C., I’m just not allowed to go to the White House.

“That’s what happens when you make bad decisions in your life. You can’t go to the White House.’’

via Full-Court Press: West wont be going to the White House.

Oh, well that’s a pretty mature and reasonable thing to say. Good on Delonte for taking responsibility for his actions. I guess he’s put all that nonsense behind him, can more effectively manage his condition, and we can all move on.

Oh. No. 

West went on a Twitter rampage Saturday night, after apparently someone in the locker room was asking questions that didn’t pertain to basketball. The tweets have since been deleted, but Mavs Moneyball captured them. They’re explicit, so consider yourself warned. Part one, and part two.

For those of you keeping score:

  • He says he has to sleep in his car because he can’t get apartment complexes in Dallas to approve him because of things they read on the internet.
  • He says he is, in fact, not our (expletive) side show.
  • Most notably, he pins the media’s portrayal of his little armed excursion on the fact that he’s making the league minimum: “Since that incident… went from starting on a 60+(win) team, supposed to make 5-8 (million) a year… now makin (league minimum). “
  • Then he starts talking about how the league minimum of $800,000 isn’t really all that much because of lawyer fees, agent fees, league fines, escrow, and his divorce settlement.
  • And finally he takes a pretty nasty shot at a media member who’s fairly respected by pretty much anyone who’s ever met him.

He then went back and apologized to the Mavericks for making it sound like he wasn’t appreciative of his contract, and said he would play for free if he had to.

Then on Saturday morning, West was back at it again. Apparently part of it has to do with someone asking about the thing about being banned and how he felt it made him come across as arrogant, when in fact he’s remorseful over his decisions. West apparently was just sad because he felt he could have made the president laugh. West did follow up by saying he doesn’t blame all the media, just a handful. For what it’s worth, the media member in question, who didn’t write the offending article, I might add, said that he wished West nothing but the best, and was clearly hurt by the comments.

So there’s that.

OK, look, I’m a media member. And the only thing worse than someone who partakes in the often-times blatantly agenda-driven pieces of media that come out, especially in sports, is someone who decides to get all holier than thou on everyone else in the industry. But this situation is really unfortunate on all sides.

West doesn’t deserve to be treated as a side show, particularly because one of the primary causes of his long-term behavior is a pretty serious mental condition that is extremely difficult to live with. West struggles with being bipolar. If you’ve had any experience with it, you know how hard that is for someone to deal with who isn’t being asked questions about their behavior all the time. And the reality is that it’s easy to make jokes about him, without considering how serious his problems are. We’re removed from athletes and rarely do we ever actually treat them as fully formed, three-dimensional, flesh and blood and mind and soul individuals, instead of cardboard cutouts on a television screen. Bloggers get nailed with that accusation more than any.

But you can be empathetic to West’s condition and what he’s gone through in his life and still say “Come on, man.” First off, no one wins with him taking this to Twitter. None. He has an agent. All he has to do is have that agent call the writer to express his thoughts. If he wants to instead set the record straight on how he feels about the White House trip, but doesn’t want to go to the same writer, he can have his pick. Most national writers are going to be all ears for an interview with a player of that nature. He’s got a better chance of having his thoughts considered in a full feature than blasting them out in 140 characters.

Because the result is that West comes across as someone upset because he’s only making $300,000 after those expenses this year, that he’s someone who was unfairly victimized by the media when what brought about the criticism was a series of decisions on his part. It’s not that that’s who West is. His attempts Sunday morning to clarify show that. He’s not blaming everyone in the media. He was just sad and upset as being portrayed as someone who didn’t care about the trip to the White House. But it’s these brash events where he lashes out that allow for people to take an overly simplistic, undeveloped view of him and to crack jokes, instead of considering the full weight of both what he’s chosen to share about his life and his condition.

No one wins in this. Especially not West.

Kobe Bryant and Barack Obama talking trash

Los Angeles Lakers Championship Education & Service Project
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Kobe Bryant has met Barack Obama enough times that when asked how many times he had met the president he had a hard time remembering exactly if it was four or five. Whatever, it was one more after Monday when the Lakers did the traditional “champions meet the president” thing in a nontraditional way at a community service event.

Kobe is comfortable with the Commander and Chief. And the president is a basketball fan comfortable enough to talk some trash back at Kobe, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.

“Derrick Rose may have your number,” President Obama lightheartedly jabbed at Kobe Bryant as the team posed for a photograph after presenting the president with an autographed replica 2009-10 championship banner, like the one that hangs at Staples Center.

“I said, ‘If he calls that number, I’ll be sure to pick up after the fifth ring,'” Bryant quipped back — referring, naturally, to the five championship rings he has….

“I want to congratulate coach Phil Jackson on earning his 11th NBA championship ring,” President Obama said. “It was his fifth championship ring with the Lakers, which I should point out is still one behind the six he won with the Chicago Bulls.”

As the president stood on stage with the team behind him, he heard a voice interject, “Not for long.”

“Kobe said, ‘Not for long,'” the president said with a laugh.

Love that. Not many people talk smack to the president. With impunity. Although with a third quip there is the chance the Secret Service wrestles him to the ground.

Obama says to be patient with Heat (and economy too, if you don’t mind)

Image (1) obama_basketball-thumb-275x275-14042-thumb-250x250-14043.jpg for post 3628

It is great to have a president that loves basketball, that plays the game, that gets it. I love that there is a basketball court at the White House and Spaulding leather balls with the presidential seal on them. I love that the world’s best players get invited to pickup games there.

That also means Barack Obama gets asked about everything going on in the world of basketball. Like, say, the Miami Heat getting off to a less-than-impressive 8-7 start to the season.

When asked about the Heat, Obama fell back on a theme he uses a lot — patience.

“It takes some time for the team to come together,” Obama said. “There’s no ‘I’ in team. So no matter how good a player is, no matter how good a group of players are, if they haven’t played together before they are not going to be as good as a team that has played together a long time.”

So, give the Heat time. Just like the economy. And the health care bill. And…

Now, if the president wants to really use his power to help the game, next spring get some federal mediators in a room with David Stern and Billy Hunter — make a call himself if he has to — and get them to avoid a lockout.

Who knocked down the game winner in White House pickup game? Obama.


Thumbnail image for obama_basketball.jpgYou do not get to be president if pressure makes you fold.

So at the end of the much-discussed White House All-Star pickup game in front of some wounded soldiers last week, who got the rock? Chauncey Billups told FanHouse the closest guy to President Obama was probably his secret service bodyguards.

“The chance to meet Obama, play a little hoops and share some fellowship. … (Obama) has a nice little left hand. He’s a lefty shooter. He hit a game-winner on us…

 “We went to double Chris Paul,” Billups said of pressuring Obama’s teammate, the New Orleans star guard. “It was a wide-open shot. We left (Obama) open by accident and he knocked it down on us. Game time.”

No offense intended, Mr. President, but if the choice is double CP3 but you have to leave Obama open, I’m doubling CP3. Every time.