Friday, October 17, 2008

Delonte West

This was unexpected, but it does explain his absence. I hope he's doing well:
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West contemplated quitting before leaving the team's training camp to seek help for depression and "a mood disorder" he has been battling his entire life.

West, who recently signed a two-year contract with Cleveland, said he removed himself from the team to "get my thoughts back together." He missed three preseason games during his absence from Oct. 4-15.

"I felt a feeling of anger and I just wanted to throw it all away and quit the team," he said.

The 25-year-old candidly discussed his condition following practice on Friday. West said he had been troubled by his behavior toward a high school referee during a scrimmage at the Cavs' training facility on Oct. 3. West took out his frustrations on the official, and said the incident was a warning signal for him to seek treatment to combat an illness that has troubled him for years.

"I needed help," he said.

West is taking medication and has been attending therapy sessions.

"In a sense, you feel like a weaker man because you have to raise your hand and ask for help," West said. "But I found out over the last week that it made me a stronger person. I came back focused, and with the help of some medicine and talking with people on a regular basis, I'm back in good spirits.

"I'm back here 100 percent."

I know the team is 0-4 thus far in the preseason, but I wouldn't be overly concerned. Having West out there with the second unit will allow the Cavs to remain competetive with the starters resting. They should be set once the season rolls around (obviously you'd like to see them win, but at this point you just want everyone healthy and used to each other).

2 comments:

Erik said...

When he first left the team, it was described as a "family emergency." I thought it was a sick relative, but as the absence dragged on, I thought it might have something to do with Delonte himself.

This was a move that took a lot of guts and is totally admirable. For Delonte to admit that he needs help with depression, then seek it out on the eve of the season must have been difficult. There are plenty of people who don't make their living in the macho world of pro sports who have a hard time admitting they need help with a mental/emotional condition.

There's LBJ-driving-the-lane-and-getting-hacked-47-times-with-no-whistles tough, and then there's tough enough to admit to the country that you're seeking help for a deeply personal issue. As much as we all admire LBJ, I might admire Delonte even more at the moment.

Anonymous said...

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