Delonte West To the L.A. Lakers? It's Not Worth the Headache

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IAugust 4, 2010

DENVER - JANUARY 08:  Delonte West #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during warm ups prior to facing the Denver Nuggets during NBA action at Pepsi Center on January 8, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Cavaliers 99-97. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves waived guard Delonte West in an effort to save money. While there will undoubtedly be more than a few NBA teams who may request his services, I just hope the Los Angeles Lakers are not one of them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that West is a decent defensive player, and he would give the Lakers more size in their backcourt, but it's West's underlying issues that have me a little wary.

When West was pulled over by police carrying a large number of guns and an ounce of marijuana, the first thought that crossed my mind was, "Where in the hell was he going?"

When it was revealed that West suffered from bi-polar disease the situation was explained, but it didn't lessen the circumstances surrounding West's arrest, especially the small arsenal of weapons he was carrying.

It should be safe to assume that West failed to take his medicine that day, but what if his transgression had occurred under the lights and media scrutiny of Los Angeles?

That's not to say West shouldn't be forgiven for his mistake, but considering what his mistake involved and West's volatile condition, should the Lakers really take that chance?

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West's situation reminds me of Seth Rogen's character Ronnie in the movie "Observe and Report," because both suffered from the same disease, and both decided to eschew their medication, which led to damaging results.

In the movie, Ronnie's decision led to him getting rejected from the Police Academy and being forced to witness his life spiral downwards. In West's case the consequences could have been far worse.

What if he had made it to his destination before police pulled him over while carrying six guns?

It could be argued that West didn't make it to his destination so any speculation is a moot point, but does that mean it would never happen again?

This goes beyond basketball because I'm sure Lakers' coach Phil Jackson could deal with West's sporadic, volatile attitude, considering the variety of personalities Jackson deals with on a daily basis.

Lakers' fans appreciate the talents of their team, but they also love the diversity of their personalities, and all the weird quirks of their nature.

Most people assumed Ron Artest would implode the Lakers' locker room, but beyond a few weird hair styles, and his tendency to create sound bytes, he easily assimilated to the Lakers' culture.

Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum also have quirky sides which endear them to Laker fans, but unlike West, none of their quirks involve guns or the potential for violence.

The Lakers may lose Shannon Brown to free agency and West would appear to be the ideal replacement since there are parts of his game that are actually superior to Brown's.

West is a better outside shooter, he may be a better defensive player, and he can rival Brown's athleticism as well. But it's not West's physical talents that I am worried about.

West's mental state concerns me more than anything pertaining to basketball, and even though he may have his disease under control, can the Lakers live with the potential of it happening again?


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