We all witnessed LeBron James' epic collapse in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals. We watched as he shot a combined .340 from the field in the final three games. We scratched our heads as he moved indifferently around the court at half-speed during the most critical moments of the season.
It was only later that Delonte West's rumored affair with Gloria James (LeBron's mom) seemed to explain LeBron's statistical deterioration. As LeBron fell, so did the Cavaliers; the degeneration of team chemistry was equally anomalous and surprising.
Is there any substance to these ludicrous rumors? Calvin Murphy later stated in a radio interview that, "Unfortunately, my sources in the NBA tell me that [the rumors are] absolutely true. My sources, and they're legit, tell me that the only people that didn't know it was happening was LeBron and me."
If there is even the smallest grain of truth to any of this, it might explain why the Celtics signed Delonte to a one-year, $1,069,509 contract. He certainly didn't earn that contract by driving around the Washington Beltway on a 2009 Can-am Spyder motorcycle with a 9mm tucked into his belt, a Ruger .357 stuffed into his sock and a loaded shotgun in a guitar case.
Is it conceivable that Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers envision a specialized role for Delonte to play when the Celtics meet the Heat in the 2011 Playoffs? Delonte West will be Doc Rivers' ace up the sleeve—a 6'3'', 180-pound LeBron annihilator.
How would LeBron react if Delonte whispered something inappropriate about his mother to him during a game?
Skeptical? Allow me to paint a picture here.
The score is tied. LeBron James is standing at the free-throw line during the final minutes of a critical game five.
Doc Rivers subs in Delonte West, who, with a wicked smile on his face, walks directly in front of LeBron and whispers something tasteless.
LeBron bricks the second free throw, and on the very next possession is called for a defensive violation when he aggressively runs through a Paul Pierce pick. Clearly angered by what he perceived to be a bit of acting on Pierce's part, and visibly upset by whatever West whispered to him, LeBron is hit with a technical foul for excessive complaining.
Ray Allen swishes the technical. Paul Pierce sinks two more free throws for the blocking violation. Doc Rivers high-fives Delonte as he subs Rondo back into the game. The Celtics have taken a four-point lead, all while Rondo gets a quick rest.
Game five goes to the Celtics.
You heard it here first.