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

Jan 8, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT

Delonte West pushing car

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.

  1. ramblingalb - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    A special class of foolish idiot. No personal responsibility at all.

    • Kansachusetts - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      I’m sure you would show a lot of personal responsibility if you were walking in the same shoes. Give the man a break.

  2. drewsylvania - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    I can’t imagine being a celebrity while having a debilitating mental illness.

  3. seanb20124 - Jan 8, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Poor baby earns $800K. He sounds like a member of the occupy crowd, as he wants more and more. Wake up Delonte you are the 1%

    • entropy13 - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      As generictombradyfan already mentioned, he’s actually still part of the “99%”. He may be one of the “richest” in the 99%, but he’s still a part of it.

      Specifically, his disposable income of $300k puts him in the 98.5%-99% range.

  4. tampajoey - Jan 8, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Delonte can spend the time getting freaky with Lebron’s mom again.

  5. generictombradyfan - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Seanb he’s a 99 percenter like the rest of us. The 1 percent is bill gates Goldman Sachs. People who make 20 billion a year at the expense of the economy.

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      What a terrible person.

      • trueballs - Jan 8, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        income inequality, cosanostra. It’s about how over the last 30 years wages for people earning millions/year (and billions) have SKYROCKETED and wages for the middle-class have stayed the same or decreased while the cost of living has increased. Nobody’s calling Bill Gates or Warren Buffet terrible people….it’s just that the system has dried up all the wealth and sent it to the highest of earners. (the 1%).

        But go ahead…live in your bubble where facts don’t matter.

  6. barklikeadog - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    He’s playing in Dallas? I thought he might be at Home Depot – was hoping to have him assist me with some wiring issues I’m having at home.

  7. goforthanddie - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:49 PM


    • Kansachusetts - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Look in the mirror.

      • goforthanddie - Jan 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        Oh, I get it. You approve of million-dollar athletes blaming everything and everyone but themselves when life doesn’t go their way. Well, get your bib out. It’s a busy hoops day, and lots of sacs will be needing that tongue action of yours.

  8. dbldmr - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    His AGI (adjusted gross income) would exceed the cutoff for the top 1%. His gross income is $800,000. It’s pretty likely that his AGI would exceed $350,000 and put him in the 1%. You don’t have to be Bill Gates to get there.

    • Kansachusetts - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Who gives a $&*& whether Delonte West is in the 1 percent or not?
      The guy is a very good basketball player who has a mental illness. The usual vultures flock in to pick at his carcass.
      Show some human kindness.

  9. 140chrviolation - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Except he might be earning 1% money for only 8-12 years. Spread out over the coarse of what one hopes is a long and healthy life, he is making much less then that 1%.

    That said, why any of us gives a c#$p about this sort of thing is beyond me. Here is a question, why is the president secured in a manner more applicable to an emperor then a public servant? West carried some guns and was pulled over. How about the security at the White House give him a nice pat down? Should do it, right? Since we are talking about the 1% issue, why is a country whose laws were established with the provision that title and rank would give no special privilege- why does such a country shut down roads so a public servant might pass? While basketball players get asked questions based on intense scrutiny of their basically inconsequential lives, the press refuses to properly engage public servants in interviews that would let the American People know the positions of those we are voting into office.

    “Mr Santorum, since you’ve said you would not let Iran get nukes, as you have stated that you would bomb them to degrade their ability to produce these bombs, where in the Constitution do you find that power invested in the President”?

    “President Obama, you recently signed a bill into law, which permits the military to arrest and hold American citizens indefinitely. Under what power did you suspend the American right to habeas corpus”?

    Instead we get, “Mr West, how do you feel about not getting to meet the President”?

    Everything is a little upside down folks.

  10. cowboychris5xchamps - Jan 8, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Everyone makes mistakes including myself and everybody on here killing this dude…do something with your lives besides sitting in your moms basement all damn day! Put the comic book down!!!

  11. hojo20 - Jan 8, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Huge mistake to get married.

  12. cantonbound13 - Jan 8, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    He’s welcome at LeBrons mom’s house any day with his gun.

  13. mgscott - Jan 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Watch out for them Cavaliers

  14. genericcommenter - Jan 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    The dude’s really sick. He has an illness. He’s doing the “American” thing ( and the exact thing a lot of his critics accuse him of not doing) and doing the best he can with his abilities and leveraging his unique skill set to get the best value for his labor. He’s not some spoiled superstar. People can’t stop beating up on him. Everyone makes mistakes. Most of them aren’t in the public eye and don’t have to live them down their whole lives.

  15. max20characters - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Delonte West doesnt deserve an article this long.

  16. dexterismyhero - Jan 9, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    PTSD—-Post Temple Stress Disorder maybe?

  17. alekezam - Jan 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I’ll own up and admit I’ve cracked Lebron’s Mom jokes on Delonte West with the best of them. I’ll also admit that I had no idea he had mental disorders and won’t rag on him anymore (tho’ zooming down the highway with a guitarcase full of weapons is a really funny mental image that I can’t deny at least chuckling at). I’ve been around folks like that. That ish is hard living and tough to deal with.

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