Troubled but fan-favourite Mavericks guard Delonte West has been suspended from the team for the second time in ten days, for “conduct detrimental to the team”. The previous incident was quickly resolved, with West being reinstated the following day leading observers to believe it was but a minor issue. However, according to ESPNDallas.com the team is now currently negotiating a buyout with West, and have won a waiver claim for centre Eddy Curry to take his roster spot.
On twitter (where his off-kilter updates have helped establish his cult-hero status), West’s statements indicate that he is indeed gone for good:
“If I’m not what u lookin 4 ….That’s fine…just dont kick me in my ass 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.”
According to West, two of his teammates were involved in a locker room argument and he was “blamed” for it. The Mavericks have not issued a statement on the incident. In the ESPNDallas.com report, West has reportedly been frustrated with playing on yet another minimum salary deal in a reserve role, after believing he had proven to be a reliable and effective player last season. Fans and the media are prone to agree, as despite his checkered past West has shown himself to be a loyal teammate off the court, while being a tenacious and creative player on the court.
The corresponding roster move for Eddy Curry would appear to be in response to the team missing their pair of 7 footers, Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman, to injuries. The weight-challenged big man appeared to be in better shape this preseason, averaging 8 points and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes a game in preseason action for the San Antonio Spurs. While he was once one of the better low post scoring centres in the league however, this move shouldn’t be viewed as much more than adding another big body to the rotation, as Curry doesn’t provide anything in the area where the Mavericks are hurting most at the moment: defensive rebounding. Look for Curry to possibly rotate in for 5-10 minutes a game until the starters return.