Delonte West Speaks but Doesn't Make Much Sense
West, who is bipolar and is facing six weapons charges from a Sept. 17 incident in Maryland in which police say he was carrying on a three-wheeled motorcycle three loaded guns and an 8 ½-inch bowie knife, was asked after Wednesday's shootaround how he is progressing after having two leaves of absence during training camp to attend to personal matters. West ended up not playing in the first three games of the season.
"One plus one is two and C always comes out to A and B,'' West said to FanHouse.
West, who hadn't spoken to reporters since media day Sept. 28, was asked what that meant.
"One plus one always be two,'' he said.
West again was asked to clarify.
"One plus one always be two, brother,'' he said.
West declined further comment.
Later in the day, West was put on the inactive list for Wednesday night's game against Orlando at Amway Arena. A Cavaliers insider said that an incident happened that was called not major but the team decided it was best to give West the night off.
The benching was not characterized as a suspension, and West will continue to be paid. The team insider said West could return for Thursday's game at Miami, but no final decision had been made.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Wednesday night that West missed the team's flight Tuesday to Orlando.
"It's one of those things if he plays or if he doesn't play,'' Cavaliers coach Mike Brown told FanHouse after the morning shootaround when asked about West's ongoing progression due to all his troubles. "We just fill in the gaps. It's just like if somebody is injured or anything like that.''
Brown did not shed light on the incident that led to West being inactive. But he explained it's an ongoing situation as to whether West plays.
"If it's OK to activate him, then he's active,'' said Brown, who has consulted on West's situation with Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry. "If it's not OK to activate him, then he won't be activated.
"Either he's out there or he's not. Or he's active or he's not active. That's just how I look at it. I don't really look at it as, 'Oh my gosh, what's going to happen today. What's going to happen tomorrow. What's going to happen next week.' I don't look at it that way.''
Dealing with West has been an ongoing situation since his Sept. 17 arrest in Maryland on the Capital Beltway outside Washington. He was indicted Nov. 3 after police said he was carrying a 9mm Beretta in his waistband, a Ruger .357 Magnum strapped to his leg and a 12-gauge shotgun in a guitar case slung over his back. Authorities said West had additional shotgun shells in a backpack.
West spoke to reporters on media day 11 days later. But he then had unexcused absences from two-a-day practices Sept. 29 and Sept. 30 before returning Oct. 1.
After returning to the team, West was granted an excused absence Oct. 7. He returned Oct. 13, and didn't play in the first three games of the regular season.
Prior to Wednesday, West had played in four straight games. LeBron James said before Wednesday's game when asked by FanHouse in a pack media session whether the West saga has been a distraction to the team. "I think we all stand behind Delonte. I think at the end of the day you look at it is what he's going through is more important than basketball. We know we have a job here and the game of basketball is very important to a lot of people.
"It's very important to us as individuals. But, at the same time, you as an individual and as your family you want that to be protected. And I think Delonte is handling it the right way. I think as teammates we're helping him and as organization we've helped him in the right way.''
Still, West's troubles certainly haven't helped the Cavaliers, who got off to a sluggish 4-3 start. They went 1-2 with West out at the start of the season.
West, who shot 45.7 percent last season while averaging 11.7 points, is shooting just 36 percent and averaging 5.7 points in his four games. Over the past three, West has gone south. He's shot 4-of-18 while averaging 3.3 points.
"He missed a lot of time in preseason and training camp,'' James said when asked about West's shooting troubles.
As far as dealing with West's overall troubles, Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson said having a pair of superstars on the team makes it not a distraction.
"LeBron and (Shaquille O'Neal), they don't allow things like that to affect our team,'' Gibson said.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @christomasson.