NBA

Mavericks suspend G West again for detrimental conduct

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Associated Press
10/25/2012 2:34:32 PM
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DALLAS -- Mavericks guard Delonte West was suspended Thursday for the second time in as many weeks for conduct detrimental to the team, putting his future in Dallas in doubt.

The first suspension lasted about a day, but a series of tweets by West soon after the team announced the latest suspension raised questions about whether he would return this time.

"Just dont kick me ... on the way out the door," West tweeted. "I didn't do anything to deserve that."

The last of several tweets in just a few minutes said, "I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes."

West has bipolar disorder and addressed that topic in another tweet, saying "no I'm not off my meds."

After practice Thursday, coach Rick Carlisle refused to elaborate on West, referring to the release from the team announcing the suspension but disclosing no specifics about his conduct.

Donnie Nelson, the team's president of basketball operations, said only that the suspension was effective immediately and no other statements would be issued. The reason for the suspension was the same as the first one that came following an outburst in the locker room after a preseason game Oct. 15.

Carlisle informed players of the latest suspension before practice.

"We're losing a competitor. That's plain and simple. He's a competitor," veteran forward Vince Carter said.

When reached by ESPNDallas.com on Thursday, West said he was being blamed for an argument between teammates after the Mavs' 88-76 preseason loss to the Oklahoma City on Wednesday night in Wichita, Kan. He said he got a text Thursday morning telling him not to come to practice.

"There was an argument between two teammates in the locker room last night that didn't involve me," West told ESPNDallas. "Somehow I'm being blamed for it. I had nothing to do with it. I don't know what's going on."

Carter wasn't with the team for Wednesday night's game. He didn't know about the suspension until he got to practice and hadn't spoken to West.

"It's just a sensitive situation right now. It's not much I can say, I wasn't around to even know what's going on. It's unfortunate," Carter said. "He's my friend, so I want the best for him, and you hope they work the situation out."

Asked if the situation with West could be resolved quickly like the first one, Carlisle again said he wasn't commenting about the guard.

Players wouldn't go into detail about how the situation was explained to them by Carlisle.

"He said what he needed to say and it is what it is. ... Things happen we have no control over," said Shawn Marion, who like Carter remained in Dallas instead of playing in Wednesday's game. "I like Delonte. He's got stuff he needs to work out with them (team management). ... We've still got to go on and focus on our task at hand."

West's latest suspension came five days before the Mavericks open the regular season Tuesday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

The Mavs will start the season without Dirk Nowitzki, their 11-time All-Star who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Chris Kaman, their other 7-footer, is dealing with a strained right calf that makes him questionable for the opener.

"All these things happen, these are part of everyday life in the NBA," Carlisle said. "We've got a lot of veterans that have been through situations where there have been injuries and all kinds of different things. You've got to just. The bus keeps going, got to keep soldiering on."

Instead of lamenting the players not available, Carlisle said his team was going to push forward with the ones they have.

West was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2010-11 season after pleading guilty to weapons charges in Maryland. Authorities say he was carrying three loaded guns and a knife when he was stopped for speeding on a three-wheel motorcycle in 2009.

West was a valuable role player for Dallas last season, even starting 33 games as the backcourt struggled with injuries before he was sidelined himself by a broken finger.

The Mavericks' backcourt grew crowded in the off-season, though. Darren Collison was acquired from Indiana and is expected to start at point guard. O.J. Mayo, a shooting guard, signed as a free agent from Memphis and could be counted on heavily for scoring while waiting for Nowitzki's return.

West played in all seven preseason games, averaging 5 points and 2 assists while playing nearly 18 minutes a game. The eighth-year pro was close to his career averages with the Mavericks last year, at 9.6 points and 3.2 assists.

Delonte West (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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