Saturday, April 7, 2012
Delonte West handles his own tape jobs
By Jeff Caplan
MEMPHIS -- By now everyone knows that Delonte West is his own man. He's also apparently his own athletic trainer.
While most guys will get their ankles and various bruised or swollen body parts taped by head athletic trainer Casey Smith, West is a do-it-yourself kind of guy. In preparation for tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, West had plenty of black medical tape with him to handle his multiple injuries.
With his Beats rocking his eardrums, his head slowly bobbing and lyrics sporadically escaping his lips, West methodically wrapped tape around each ankle, taking extreme care with the left one that he twice twisted Friday, once during the morning shootaround and then again during the game against Portland.
"I think he's sore, but I believe he's going to play," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Again, the fact that he was out there last night was big."
Watching West then shift his attention to his still-healing right ring finger, wrapping it tight to his middle finger and then both over padding, that he mangled in mid-February only to return to action last week, Mavs strength and conditioning coach Robert Hackett was asked how many guys tape their own body parts.
"None," Hackett said.
Smith, who said Steve Novak used to tape his own ankles, joked that West likes to call himself a D-League athletic trainer. Smith would give West a final check-over in the training room before West donned his head band and headed to the court for pre-game warmups.
Carlisle is just happy the feisty combo guard sucked it up and played Friday night against the Blazers and will do so tonight in an important game against the Grizzlies. Jason Kidd, of course, will miss his fourth consecutive game with a strained right groin. Carlisle said they'll know more about Kidd, who is not with the team in Memphis, when they reconvene for practice Monday.