DALLAS -- As Rick Carlisle said, most NBA players need regular gas, but Delonte West requires diesel fuel.
Mark Cuban says essentially the same thing in a different way.
“I wouldn’t call Delonte high maintenance,” Cuban said. “Delonte is Delonte maintenance. That means he’s his own unique brand of maintenance, but we’re used to it.”
It’s not like the Mavs’ brass was blind-sided by West’s outburst that led to his 21-hour suspension this week. They had a good understanding the complex personality they were getting when they signed West before last season. They got to know him well, warts and all, and decided to bring him back to Dallas this summer.
And they’re happy to have him.
“You know exactly what you’re getting from D-West,” Cuban said. “You just don’t know when. And I say that with all love, because if we didn’t think those all created positives, he wouldn’t be here.”
Cuban dismissed a question about whether he was concerned about West possibly negatively influencing the younger players on the roster, pointing out that West isn’t a vocal guy. Cuban added that wild cards like West are only a problem if there are multiple guys like that on the roster or if that player doesn’t have the respect of his teammates.
“Delonte will tell you, when it’s time to hunt, he’s the dog you want out there hunting for you,” Cuban said. “He’s the guy you want in the foxhole with you. He’s a warrior and guys love that.”