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Delonte West on Clippers’ Summer League roster

Jul 8, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

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Delonte West is trying to make it back to the NBA.

He has been out of the league for two seasons and a comeback will involve two parts — proving that he still has it on the court (he’s only about to turn 31); then proving he’s not going to be a distraction off it.

All of it starts in Las Vegas.

As has been rumored, West is on the Clippers Summer League roster announced Monday (possibly thanks to Doc Rivers, who coached West back in Boston). With all due respect to Jon Brockman and DeAndre Liggins, West is about the only interesting thing on the Clippers roster in Vegas as Reggie Bullock (quad injury) and C.J. Wilcox (shoulder) will not be on the team.

West was last in the NBA in 2012 with Dallas and he played well, averaging 9.6 points a game, hitting 35.5 percent from three and having a PER right at the league average of 15.3. West can do a number of things on the offensive end: penetrate, dish, knock down open looks, plus he is a solid defender. If he still can do those things teams will notice.

But that’s only half of it. Dallas, arguably the most player-friendly organization in the league, didn’t want him back due to the distractions and challenges. 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), and who has had a host of other incidents large and small. West has to show all that is behind him.

West started to try and reclaim his image and his life  in an open interview with Slate where he discussed being perceived as a person he is not. He has battled a bipolar disorder, but a lot of things rumored to have happened didn’t (nobody reasonable around the league buys the LeBron rumor, but it refuses to die). Vegas is the next step in that.

The question is will that be enough?

  1. blueintown - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    The Cavs will probably sign him. They’re really good at this.

  2. misremembered72 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Delonte was raised homeless in DC bouncing from basement to basement with his mother, sister and brother often sharing the same bed.
    He moved from school to school and was made fun of for not being “black enough.” He barely made his high school team because of grades and due to the instability of his childhood education.
    Was recruited by TWO colleges. Came to St. Joes with no jump shot at all, and in three years in college became an excellent shooter.

    Everyone expected Delonte to go away after the rumors, gun charges, his diagnosis and being cut by the Mavericks.
    He’s been up against the wall before many times. Don’t ever count this dude out, he’s a fighter and he works his arse off!

    • j0esixpack - Jul 8, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      Well said…

      say what you want about him, this guy isn’t afraid of hard work or adversity. Doc Rivers wouldn’t be giving him a shot if he didn’t believe he had it in him – but the ball is quite literally in Delonte’s court

      I, for one, am rooting for him!

  3. saint1997 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    @misremembered72 very well said, it seems folk oft forgot the trials and tribulations these NBA players experience in their youth. They expect them to instantly become model citizens. That said, by the time they reach past 30 they really should have figured it out, but each has their own learning curve I suppose

  4. clevelandrox - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    D West is a tough dude with a high BB iq who will battle in the trenches…

  5. jerze2387 - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    It’s a low key way to keep Lebron from going to the lakers at least. He won’t want to bring his mom to LA if delonte west is there

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