Ball Don't Lie

Dallas Mavericks reinstate Delonte West, finally bringing end to interminable suspension

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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At long last, Delonte West has finally rejoined the Dallas Mavericks. (Getty Images)

I think we all remember where we were when we found out that veteran combo guard Delonte West had been suspended indefinitely by the Dallas Mavericks for conduct detrimental to the team following a postgame outburst in the Dallas locker room. I sure know I do.

There was a bit of a chill in the air as I checked my email after sunrise in the Northeast and read the news, though it's my understanding that it was comparatively warmer in the Western United States. Baseball's postseason was in full swing, a tense presidential campaign had captured the nation's headlines and the astronomy world was abuzz at the discovery of a new planet illuminated by four suns. Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday.

That is, of course, because it was yesterday.

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And on Wednesday morning, just one day after Mavs coach Rick Carlisle declined to identify a timeframe for West's indefinite suspension, the Associated Press reports that the saga is over:

President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said the ban was lifted after the eight-year veteran met with Nelson and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Tuesday.

After Monday night's preseason win over Houston, Carlisle told reporters West was suspended without offering any details.

What a long, strange trip it's been. I'm sure you feel like a changed person for having gone through all this, dear reader; I know I do.

It's good to know the resolution of the incident, but the wire report is disappointingly light on detail. Luckily, Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is here to flesh things out a bit:

West spoke about the meeting at this morning's shootaround.

"We're on the same page," West said. "We're a real family over here.

"Uncle Ricky handled the situation. We went and had a talk and we went right back to the bar-b-cue."

For his part, Carlisle came out and started his interview with the media by asking: "How are all my nephews doing?"

I'd like to note for the record that if Delonte refers to Carlisle as anything other than "Uncle Ricky" or Carlisle greets media members as anything other than "all my nephews" from here on out, I will be extremely disappointed in them both and saddened at their inability to recognize things that are important in this world.

One thing both seemed to find important is discretion — neither Carlisle nor West discussed specifics on the incident leading to the suspension, though the coach referenced "an outstanding issue" they needed to talk about and how West "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," Carlisle said, according to Price.

As we noted Tuesday, West struggles with bipolar disorder, although it's unclear if that's the "outstanding issue" to which Carlisle referred or if it played any role in the locker-room outburst.

For now, though, it sounds like the incident's water under the bridge or over the dam (wherever you'd prefer to put your water). Carlisle told the media that West will be in uniform and available to play when Dallas hosts the Phoenix Suns in a preseason matchup at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night, and if West sounded disappointed in anyone, it was not Uncle Ricky:

"I don't know why anybody didn't come see me while I was in lockdown," West said [to the media]. "Y'all are my friends now.

"Y'all didn't come visit and put nothing on my commissary or nothing. That's all right."

Hey, Delonte, if you expect the writers to put something on your commissary, the least you could do is let them know when you and Uncle Ricky are going for barbecue. We've all got to eat, you know?

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