September 21, 2011
NBA stories don't come more unsettling than the one that saw then-Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West(notes) arrested two years ago while driving a motorcycle (complete with sidecar) while carrying a disturbing amount of guns and rifles. The resulting fallout has created a litany of legal woes for the talented hybrid guard, who now plays for the Boston Celtics.
Little has come out about how West put himself in that dangerous, frightening situation until recently, when SLAM's Tzvi Twersky asked Delonte to tell his side of the story.
West was already groggy from his prescribed nightly dosage of Seroquel when some ne'er do wells partying in his home studio came across his stash of guns and hunting weapons. In his take, West insists he was attempting to keep his mother happy by riding his stash to another one of his houses. From SLAM:
"Ma Dukes came running upstairs into my room, cursing me, saying she wanted all these MFers out of my house," recalls West. "I came to like, What's going on? I was already on my Seroquel trip. A few of my cats had found some stuff in the studio and they were living the whole gangsta life thing—guns in the air and this and that," continues West. "And I said, 'Oh my God. What the **** are y'all doin' in here? Y'all got to go. Momma ain't on that. Kids are running around upstairs. It's time to go.'"
Gassed up from the commotion, West decided it would be prudent for him to relocate the guns to an empty house he owned nearby. So, with his other vehicles blocked in by guests' cars, and expecting it to be a short trip, he haphazardly loaded up his Can-Am and placed the weapons in a Velcro-type of bag—"not a desperado, hardcase, gun-shooting-out-the-side type case"—and set off.
"I'm on the Beltway, cruisin'," West says, voice high, emotional and inimitable. "Soon I start realizing I'm dozing in and out. I open my eyes and I went from this lane to that. I'm swervin', and by the time I wake up, I'm about three exits past my exit."
Yikes. It could have been a lot worse, apparently.
The interview is a must-read. It delves into West's continued struggles with bipolar disorder, and discussing the heretofore unrevealed fact that West was under a version of house arrest during the 2010-11 season. It also includes the line "I ain't lookin' for no nipple to cry on." So you can't lose, really.