Delonte West : True Culprit of LeBron James' Departure From Cleveland?

Tyler AdamsContributor IAugust 4, 2010

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30:  Delonte West #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a play against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Did Delonte West have an affair with Gloria James?

That's the question that everyone wants to know the answer to this NBA off-season. Delonte West was as well known outside of Cleveland as Jamario Moon or Anthony Parker, but then he was rumored to do the unthinkable. 

He apparently had an affair with the mother of the former savior of Cleveland sports, LeBron James.

Now, this rumor was denied by both lawyers of James and West, but there are indications that the rumors are true. 

In the video below, Bill Simmons gives his thoughts on the nasty Delonte West rumor, but he has to do this on a radio show because ESPN policy is not to talk about rumors of that nature on the job.

Simmons confidently states, "It's true." 

This is referring to the rumor that Delonte West had an affair with Gloria James, and West was possibly the cause of LeBron's disinterest after his stellar Game 3 performance. 

Rumors had circulated that before Game 4, Mo Williams decided to break the news to LeBron that everyone in the Cavaliers locker room already knew. Delonte had been having relations with his mother.

This news would be a very valid explanation for quite possibly the biggest choke in Cleveland Cavaliers history, and the beginning of the end for LeBron and the Cavaliers. 

Basketball Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy took to the airwaves in late May, and became the most high-profile person to date to back the rumors.

"It ain't no rumor," he told a Houston ESPN Radio station, calling the claims "absolutely true" and "absolutely horrifying." He went on:

"Unfortunately, my sources in the NBA tell me that it's 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."

The creepy thing is that West was uncharacteristically awful against the Celtics.  One of the few Cavaliers who can manufacture his own shot, and more importantly, isn’t afraid of taking big shots, West has played well in the playoffs throughout his career.

Starting in Game 4 of the Cavs vs. Celtics series, West played some of the worst basketball of his career.

He didn’t play a minute in the second half of Game 5 and was horrible in Game 6, committing turnovers on three consecutive possessions in the first half to help fuel a 10-0 Celtics run.

Meanwhile, listless LeBron began to manifest itself in Game 4, when the MVP was less aggressive than usual.  We all know what happened in Game 5.

The truth to the rumors don't stop there, either.

LeBron recently took out a full-page ad to thank the city of Akron, but never once tried to thank the city of Cleveland.

The people of Cleveland may have been betrayed by LeBron, but LeBron was betrayed by nearly the entire Cleveland Cavaliers team.

As Bill Simmons stated, "Ilgauskas is the only close friend on that team now."

Perhaps Big Z was the only Cavs player out of the loop on the rumor. He is LeBron's close friend, and he was out of the loop for a good month while waiting to return after being bought out by the Washington Wizards.

The city of Cleveland has largely blamed LeBron for quitting on his city, but now we know the possible reason for his quitting.

Did Delonte West ruin the Cavaliers chances at a title and re-signing the King?

I guess only LeBron, Gloria, and Delonte know the answer to those questions and more. 


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