You have to know when it's time to move on.
According to John Schuhmann of NBA.com:
The Mavs have announced that they've suspended Delonte West indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team."— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) October 25, 2012
Vague? You bet.
But details have begun to emerge after Schuhmann's original report.
Delonte West tells me he's being blamed for an argument last night between 2 teammates that didn't involve him. es.pn/TcCGry— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 25, 2012
And now, on the heels of his suspension, West apparently has no idea as to why he is being blamed for anything:
"There was an argument between two teammates in the locker room last night that didn't involve me," said West, who had two points, one assist and three turnovers in 21 minutes against the Thunder. "Somehow I'm being blamed for it. I had nothing to do with it. I don't know what's going on."
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle painted a different picture, though.
He described the situation as an "outstanding issue" that needed to be dealt with, yet emphasized it wasn't that big of a deal:
"There was an outstanding issue, and we needed to talk about it," Carlisle said after the initial suspension. "He needed to refocus, and he's in the process of doing that. It's going to be work. It's going to be daily work for him to do that, and I've got to help him and our organization is going to help him, too. It's not that big a deal."
Conflicting accounts of what transpired? Check.
Mysteriousness surrounding the actual heart of the issue? Check.
Confusion from all parties involved? Check.
Well, now that we've got that, there's nothing left to do except acknowledge West's tenure in Dallas needs to come to a close.
The situation has begun to spiral out of control. Regardless of who is truly innocent or at fault, it's time for both the Mavericks and West to move on.
After all, this indefinite suspension comes less than two weeks after the Mavericks suspended West for the same thing, stemming from what MacMahon himself reported was an outburst in the team's locker room.
So yeah, it's time to move on and yes, it's unfortunate it has come to this
But West, an NBA veteran of eight seasons, is no stranger to off-the-court troubles. He has a well-documented case of bipolar disorder, which played a major role in his 2009 arrest on speeding and weapons charges while he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He's not one to avoid controversy on the court, either. The shooting guard gave Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward a "wet willy" only last season that resulted in a $25,000 fine.
And while we cannot go as far as to deem West a vat of lost potential, he is a magnet for controversy.
Simply put, something's wrong here.
Over the past eight years, he has established himself as one of the most deft perimeter defenders. He's extremely prone to clogging the passing lane, and he's great at reading first steps, fighting under and over screens and making the sharp lateral movements necessary to man the most elusive of athletes.
His 37.2-percent career clip from beyond the arc makes him a valuable offensive piece as well, someone who can make the defense pay for double-teaming in the post.
But at a time when we should be focused on what he can do and how he can help the suddenly Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks, we're instead discussing his second indefinite suspension in as many weeks.
Regardless of how much West means to Dallas on the court and regardless of how much he loves the organization, the time has come for both parties to part ways by any means necessary.
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..— Delonte West (@CharleeRedz13) October 25, 2012
This isn't an isolated incident. No matter how much West denies it or how much Carlisle downplays it, this has become a detrimental distraction.
It doesn't matter if Dallas' "perception" is flawed.
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!!— Delonte West (@CharleeRedz13) October 25, 2012
It won't matter if the information turns out to be "false."
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.— Delonte West (@CharleeRedz13) October 25, 2012
It doesn't matter if West didn't "deserve" this.
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...— Delonte West (@CharleeRedz13) October 25, 2012
And it can't matter that this will be difficult for both the Mavericks and West to stomach.
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— Delonte West (@CharleeRedz13) October 25, 2012
Because the damage has been done. There's no recovering from this. There's no hope of ever completely leaving these transgressions in the rear-view mirror.
Not for West, not for the Mavericks.
Which is why it's time to bid adieu. For the sake of West, for the sake of this team, it's time to put an end to the drama, time for West to bid farewell to the team that still seems to believe in him, time for the Mavericks to let go of a player who they hoped would fit in.
And time for everyone involved to admit this may be a lost cause.
No, it won't be easy.
But saying goodbye never is.
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