Delonte West Pulls a Desperado in Maryland

September 30, 2009
If only Delonte has spent his weekend driving the ball to the hoop, instead of his motorcycle, he might be in camp right now.

If only Delonte has spent his weekend driving the ball to the hoop, instead of his motorcycle, he might be in camp right now.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West was arrested over the weekend for illegal possession of firearms, after being pulled over for a traffic violation while driving his motorcycle.  Apparently, police officers found it odd that someone other than Antonio Banderas would be riding a motorcycle with a guitar case strapped to his back, so they searched the case.  Inside, they found two loaded handguns and a loaded shotgun.

There’s no telling why West had the weapons or where he was headed.  He should have been on his way to Cleveland for the start of training camp on Monday.  But his journey seems to have taken a detour, only nobody knows where.  Despite his arrest, West was supposed to report to training camp three days ago.  He has yet to arrive, marking three unexcused absenses for the six-year vet.

Even more concerning than his affinity for Robert Rodriguez films is that he has a long history of battling depression and mood disorders.  He missed 10 days of training camp last year while he battled depression.  This brings to question, how does someone with such a documented mental illness obtain weapons?  Scary thought.  More concerning to basketball fans (or at least to LeBron James fans) is what this means for the team?  He is their starting shooting guard, which might be the tongue-in-cheek understatement of the year, and an important part of the supporting cast around King James.  The team is among preseason Championship favorites and it will be interesting to see how they respond to the latest West mishap.

Perhaps the sight of Enrique Iglesias toting a guitar case filled with gun in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" inspired Delonte West this weekend.  After all, Enrique told him "I can be your hero baby."

Perhaps the sight of Enrique Iglesias toting a guitar case filled with guns in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" inspired Delonte West this weekend. After all, Enrique told him "I can be your hero baby."

As a Celtics fan, I’ve watched West quite a bit throughout his career.  He was a good player while on the team, not a superstar but rather underrated still.  When we traded him, I didn’t lose sleep over it, but I continued to follow the St. Joe’s product’s career.  I never thought he’d amount to much because he’s undersized and doesn’t excel at anything.  But he’s a good defender, a decent shooter, and he’s versatile, making him a perfect role player for a contending team.  It’s sad to see that he apparently is still battling the demons in his head.

Was it the long socks?  The curly orange hair?  His height?

Was it the long socks? The curly orange hair? His height?

Ideally, I always saw him ending up with the Celtics.  Not as a player.  Not as a coach.  But as the replacement for our lost mascot, Lucky.  I know, I know, he’s not Irish.  But for some reason, Delonte always reminded me of Lucky, the Celtic’s leprechaun.  The resemblence is there.  Maybe it’s because both wore tall socks.  Perhaps it’s because they were always the smallest men on the court.  Or maybe it’s because of that little orange ‘fro that Delonte rocked from time to time.   All I’m saying is picture Delonte West rocking that outfit.  It fits right?

Either way, West isn’t in camp, rides 3-wheeled motorcycles, and carries his firearms in a guitar case.  This can’t be the way the Cleveland Cavs drew up their preseason schedule, right?

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Which Sport’s Playoff Season is Better, NBA or NHL?

April 20, 2009

nba-v-nhl

Playoff season is upon us, with the NHL and NBA playoffs starting this past weekend.  After spending the entire weekend watching sports, an interesting debate came to mind: which sport’s playoff season is better?

Playoff set-up: Both leagues have 7-game series all the way through the finals.  They’re both set-up as follows (for higher seeded team) 2 home games, 2 away, 1 home, 1 away, and game 7 at home, aka 2-2-1-1-1.  This is a recent change from the 2-3-2 set-up of a few years ago.  The purpose behind this change is to put added pressure on a home game 7, whereas previously, the top team had 2 home games to finish the job.  I understand it, but I’m not crazy about it.  Too much travel means too much time off between games.  Both sports have a minimum of 1 day off between each  game in a series.  This makes the playoffs drawn out and take away some of the momentum built up from the game before.  This is my biggest complaint about the playoffs of either sport.    Verdict – PUSH

Chances of an upset – In the NBA playoffs, upsets are not that common.  There are powerhouse teams at the top of each conference and then there are the rest.  Just look at the lower seeded teams in the NBA playoffs right now and none of them really impress you.  The Eastern Conference, for example, has 3 teams in the playoffs with a .500 record or lower.  That is pathetic.  The Western Conference was more competitive, with the 2nd seed and 8th seed separated by only 6 games, all with a win percentage of .585 or better.  The only “upsets” that seem possible right now are the Mavericks over the Spurs or the Bulls over the Celtics.  But this is not something to brag about when the top-seeded teams are hurt by injury to star players.

The NHL playoffs, on the other hand, often offer upsets.  This year alone, there are 2 underdogs primed to make a run to the second round.  The 8th-seeded Ducks hold a 2-0 lead over top-seeded San Jose, while the 7th-seeded Rangers are up 2-0 over 2nd-seed Washington.  In the NHL, all it takes is a hot goalie to lead his team deep in the playoffs.  In the NBA, over the drawn out schedule, talent usually wins out.   Verdict – NHL

Excitement – The NBA is home to snoozers more often than edge-of-your-seat thrillers.  This weekend, the launch of the first round, saw blowout wins by the Cavs, Hawks, Nuggets, Lakers, and Rockets.  They were over by the third quarter.  Sure, there were 2 games that went down to the wire, but these are not often occurrences for their playoffs.  Add in the fact that if the game even resembles a close one, the trailing team fouls on every possession.  The final 2 minutes of a game can take a half-hour.  It ruins the watching experience beacuse not only are there stoppages in play, its coupled with poor free throw shooting and commercials.

The NHL by nature is a sport that leads to close games.  Even a score of 3-1 is not safe, because all it takes is a powerplay goal and then anything can happen.  Even if there is a blowout, such as the Bruins domination of the Habs in game 2, it’s still exciting because of all the hard hitting.  A fight could break out at anytime, which makes you want to keep watching (see Bruins-Canadiens, game 2, Milan Lucic).    Verdict – NHL

So which has sport has the better playoff season?  It’s easily the NHL.  While both sports drag their playoff season out for way too long, the NHL has what the NBA doesn’t:  excitement.  Every game is close and anything can happen to turn the game in the favor of the other team.  Add in the excitement of a fight breaking out and the NHL wins, hands down!  (check out Lucic starting a fight in a 5-1 victory on Saturday)