Jun 5, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
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.
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