Thursday, September 30, 2010

Delonte West: Ladies Man

Although whatever happened between Delonte West and LeBron James’ mother remains a mystery; it’s become pretty obvious something happened. Unfortunately for Mr West, in the game of sleeping with professional athletes’ mothers, something is all it takes.

That something got a whole lot worse on Monday at the Boston Celtics media day when Delonte West gave his first interview since Terez Owens broke the story last May. With lawyers and PR teams nervously monitoring things, reporters were told to stick to NBA related topics like; how does it feel to be back with the Celtics? Or, who in Boston do you most look forward to playing with? And not questions like, what was it really like being with LeBron James’ 41 year-old mother? Or, has 6-8, 250lbs LeBron shoved you against a wall and asked you about all this yet?

Thankfully, some keen little journalist named Rich Shertenlieb from a radio station called 98.5 The Sports Hub had the gull to flat out ask Mr. West what everyone wanted to know, straight to the point, media rules be damned: ‘Did you have an intimate relationship with Gloria James, the mother of your former teammate LeBron James?’.

Some people are pretty effective at answering damning questions by being cryptically expressive. Republican Presidents are good at it, so are lawyers and advertising executives. Surprisingly, Delonte West isn’t. In what sounded like an attempt to swerve around the question (I’ve no idea why he didn’t just say ‘no’) West responded with the following “Not at all, I come from an era where you don’t say nothing bad about someone’s parent, so not at all’.

Syntax and grammar aside, it’s confusing and non-committal to say the least, and it makes just enough sense to be damning. PR people from all camps closed their eyes and shook their heads and the kind of commentary that only demands more explanation and commentary. Hopefully the flak he’s taking over it this week will teach Delonte West a lesson that should have been pretty obvious to begin with: An awkward and cryptic denial of a a sexual affair is pretty much like admitting you did it.

Monday’s brilliant media performance aside, this month’s signing with Boston was the highlight in an otherwise troubled year for West. The Cavaliers disappointing loss to the Celtics in this year’s playoffs was made much worse with speculation that it was a result of team morale being shredded on the eve of game 4 when LeBron first heard rumours involving his mother and his point guard(Cavs went on to lose games 4,5 and 6 and looked very out of sync). Last September, West was pulled over on for a traffic violation while riding on some sort of conspicuous 3-wheeled motorcycle. Officers found a 9mm Beretta pistol, .357 Magnum and a Remington 870 in a guitar case along with two enormous knives. As a result, this summer West pleaded guilty to weapons possession charges and was sentenced to state monitoring, unsupervised probation, 40 hours of community service, psychological counselling, and will be suspended for the first 10 games of the 2010-11 NBA season.

That being said, we love Delonte West and wish him the best of look with all this. He’s got a great game: athletic, a good jump shooter and a great defender. He has the potential to really make a difference for the Celtics, and will maybe get them as far as facing LeBron and the Heat in the playoffs. And we don’t give a damn whose mother he sleeps with, as long as it’s not ours.

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