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Old 10-07-2009, 09:24 PM   #1
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Default West Leaves Cavaliers For a Second Time During Camp

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Delonte West is gone again, but LeBron James is confident West will be there when it counts.

West has left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time during training camp, although this time he has the team's blessing.

He had unexcused absences for the first four practices last week and he missed about 10 days last year during the preseason while dealing with personal issues. He returned as the second-most important player to the Cavaliers' postseason run to the Eastern Conference finals and James believes he can count on West again this year.

"He's one of the ones that we know is going to be there no matter what," James said Wednesday. "When he's out on that court, he forgets about everything else going on in his personal life. We're looking forward to getting him back, but he's going to take as much time as he needs."

West has battled bipolar disorder and could face a league suspension stemming from an arrest last month on misdemeanor gun possession charges in Maryland.

General manager Danny Ferry held him out of the team's scrimmage on Saturday, but he was expected to play between 15 and 20 minutes in Cleveland's exhibition game against the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday. Instead, West never left the locker room to join his teammates on the bench.

He was not at practice on Wednesday and the team confirmed this absence is excused.

"It's not a distraction because we're all professionals and we're a veteran club," James said. "Guys will be ready. But sometimes you want your full team out there so you know what type of potential you have. I think we all know what Delonte's capable of doing on the court."

West started at shooting guard last season, but he was also Mo Williams' only real backup at point guard. With West out indefinitely, the Cavaliers will lean heavily on fourth-year backup Daniel Gibson.

Gibson is known more for his 3-point shooting than his point skills, but he ran the offense in the win over the Bobcats while Williams was out of the game. James and newcomer Anthony Parker also have experience running an offense.

"Those types of guys [Parker and James] can be on the floor with Gib if at times he's in trouble bringing it up," coach Mike Brown said. "We feel our ball-handling capabilities are above average in general. But Delonte brings a different dynamic to the team than what we have."
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: West Leaves Cavaliers For a Second Time During Camp

wow, i didn't know he's bipolar. that must be difficult to deal with. hope he returns to the court soon.
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