Delonte West, Rick Carlisle talk it out
Coach Rick Carlisle suspended West for conduct detrimental to the team after a locker-room outburst following Monday night's preseason win over the Houston Rockets. The Mavericks reinstated West less than 24 hours later after he met with Carlisle and Donnie Nelson, the team's president of basketball operations.
"Uncle Ricky handled the situation, you know what I mean?" West said after Wednesday's shootaround. "We went and had a talk, and we came right back to the barbecue."
West, an eight-year veteran who was a valuable role player in his first season with the Mavs last year, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Carlisle and West declined to discuss the specifics of what led to the player's outburst.
"We want to keep things in house," West said. "The things that came out really had nothing to do with basketball. We got to the bottom of it and got some communication between those who were involved."
Carlisle mentioned that West was "a little different," saying most players in the NBA run on gas but West runs on diesel. Carlisle, who lobbied for West's return to Dallas after the guard's one-year deal expired last summer, said communication is the key to working with West.
"There was an outstanding issue, and we needed to talk about it," Carlisle said. "He needed to refocus, and he's in the process of doing that. It's going to be work. It's going to be daily work for him to do that, and I've got to help him and our organization is going to help him, too. It's not that big a deal."
West was reluctant to discuss his suspension at first, but he warmed up to questions after a couple of minutes. He joked that none of his friends visited him "in lockdown" or put any money in his commissary account.
West, 29, signed a one-year deal for the third consecutive season after hoping to get a long-term contract this offseason. He's part of a logjam in the Mavs' backcourt -- five reserves are competing for minutes.
"I'm happy to be here," West said. "I'm a Dallas Maverick. Whatever role they have for me this year, I'm going to accept it with open arms. Whatever you've got to do to get a win for the night, that's all that matters."
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