The Dallas Mavericks have suspended guard Delonte West indefinitely, the team announced this morning.
"We have suspended Delonte for conduct detrimental to the team," said Donnie Nelson, the Mavs' president of basketball operations."The suspension is effective immediately and no other statements will be issued."
This is the second suspension for West in the last 11 days. The Mavs suspended West on Oct. 15 for one day, also for conduct detrimental to the team.
In the Mavs' seven preseason games, West averaged 5.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game.
No one knows for sure when West will be back with the team – or if he'll be back at all. Even West and some of his teammates sounded like he'll never wear a Mavericks' uniform again.
After the suspension, West took to Twitter to go on a Twitter rant. Here' an account of West's recent seven tweets:
"I'm gonna just pray for um!!!...perception is not reality!!!..real is real...in any language,culture...and what's wrong is what's wrong.''
"All my family friends fans...who been right der wit me this uphill battle over the last 4years to get to this point....already know.''
"That my name showin up in any fashion in a negative light is the worst thing that can happen.everything Ived worked towards out d window.''
"Just ask u to talk with me....I'm a grown man...that's not above logic and reason...Before u go to the papers wit false information.''
"If I'm not what u lookin 4 ....That's fine...just dont kick me in my [butt] on the way out the door....I didn't do anything to deserve that...''
"I love the city of Dallas..I love playin in the NBA...no I'm not off my meds...no I ain't on no bipolar trip...this real people lives..''
"And it just ain't right..imma leave it at that..no ill will towards no one...I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes.''
When asked for comment, forward Vince Carter said, “It’s between [Mavs management] upstairs, and they’re going to handle that problem. I wish him the best.
“He’s a helluva player. I like Delonte. He’s got some stuff he’s going to work out with them. That’s not our concern.’’
Coach Rick Carlisle addressed the team and told them of the suspension prior to Thursday’s practice.
West's suspension after the Oct. 15 game against the Houston Rockets lasted less than a day after West talked with Nelson and Carlisle, but this latest suspension could be detrimental to West’s future with the Mavs, since he is a repeat offender. And the two offenses occurred in a short period of time.
“This is a business, and we’re all professionals here,’’ forward Shawn Marion said. “There are things that happen and we have no control over it.
“It is what it is. It’s between them upstairs, and they’re going to handle that problem. I wish him the best.’’
West is in a dogfight with six other guards for playing time. But it isn’t clear what's at the crux of his latest suspension, other than West saying he was being blamed for an argument between two of his teammates that he had nothing to do with.
“We put out a release that I think addresses it,’’ Carlisle said. “And per the release, we’re really not going to comment any further on it.’’
In the Mavs’ locker room in Wichita, Kan., prior to their preseason game against Oklahoma City, West was very animated and going on and on about different issues and contracts around the NBA. But it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
Still, this latest distraction by West is one the Mavs know they don’t need with the regular season set to start Tuesday against the powerful Los Angeles Lakers.
“You’ve got to get over it,’’ point guard Darren Collison said. “It’s a tough business.
“As a team we’ve got to look forward to moving on, and I think we’re ready to move on.’’
Carter, for one, said he'll contact West and find out what's going on with him.
"That’s my buddy,'' Carter said. "Man, I tell you what, he’s a great guy. I don’t know what’s going on, so I kind of stay out it. But if he wants to sit and talk and vent, that’s what I’m down for. I enjoy it.''
And there's something else Carter enjoys about West.
"Other than that, we’re losing a competitor,'' he said. "That’s just plain and simple. He’s a competitor. We all know that.
"Everybody goes through their differences, because but that's one guy you can rely on. And I feel for him. It’s a sensitive situation right now and it’s not much that I can say.''
With the regular season just around the corner, Marion said the stakes are too high to get bogged down in a player's personal issue.
"We still got to go on and focus on our task at hand,'' Marion said. "You can think about it, but at the same time we can’t harp on it all day.
"We’ll grasp it and then kind of push it to the side and go do what we need to do. They're going to handle it upstairs. Let them deal with it. It’s not in our hands.''
If West has played his last game with the Mavs, Carter knows he will be missed.
"Every time we go on the court the first thing he says is, ‘Let’s go get these boys tonight,’ '' Carter said. "Whether we’re favored to win or we not, he always believe we’re going to win.''
-- Dwain Price