The eighth-year player and Washington, D.C., native was initially suspended after a reported outburst in the locker room following an Oct. 15 preseason game against Houston. The Mavericks suspended him again — this time indefinitely and without pay — last week.
Citing sources, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports the Mavericks were concerned that West was having a negative influence on the team’s young players, and that he could not deal with the frustration of playing on another one-year, veteran’s minimum contract.
“We have suspended Delonte West for conduct detrimental to the team,” Mavericks President of Basketball Operations Don Nelson said Thursday in a statement announcing the second suspension. “The suspension is effective immediately and no other statements will be issued.”
By waiving West, the Mavericks made a roster spot available for center Eddy Curry, who the team claimed off waivers on Thursday. Curry, 29, is expected to start the team’s season opener on Tuesday with Chris Kaman out.
West, who takes medication for bipolar disorder, was suspended for 10 games by the NBA after his 2009 arrest for driving a three-wheel motorcycle with multiple weapons on board. The 29-year-old Washington, D.C. native was also sentenced to eight months of house arrest for the incident.
Last April, West was fined $25,000 for giving Jazz forward Gordon Hayward a wet willy during a game.
West averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 24 minutes per game last season, cementing himself as a valuable reserve off the bench. With Jason Terry now in Boston, West was expected to be a key contributor again this season.
“That’s my buddy. He’s a great guy,” Vince Carter told Dallas Morning New reporter Eddie Sefko after the indefinite suspension last week. “I don’t know what’s going on, so I stay out of it. If he wants to talk and vent, I’m around for it. But I’ll tell you what, we’re losing a competitor, plain and simple.”