"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."
Delonte West belongs to the Celtics family. He should have always remained a Celtic and he will truly deserve to only wear green for the rest of his career. In fact, Delonte was a draft pick by Doc Rivers in his first year as head coach of the Boston Celtics. During his first years in Beantown, Delonte would do whatever the coaching staff would ask him to do. He would be a starter and he would play either the PG or the SG spots without complaining. He would dive for the missing ball, fight for the lost angle in a desperate play. Delonte would fight through adversity when our team record was below average.
It felt good to have Delonte during those years. He was kind of old school, always fighting but also always smiling. His first years in the NBA seemed to be quite successful and optimistic. I used to feel better when I got to watch this and this. And he seemed to get some nice chemistry with another fighter, our captain.
He never gave up. Not even when the road started to grow uphill.
Traded to Seattle to make room for the Big Three era in Boston, he continued to give everything for his team to win. It just got a little tougher and the smiles seemed to turn into off court problems as soon as he became a Cavalier. You could think he got further and further away from his true family and in the distance his personal problems started to show and become public.
We learned about his bipolar disorder, his depressions and his moods. His focus was always fixed on the game of basketball but the crowd was no longer looking at his basketball actions but more about everything that surrounded him. In the end, maybe being a Cavalier and working for an egomaniac player was too much for him. Maybe, he missed home. He must have missed Doc, Paul and his Celtics family.
Last summer Delonte rejoined the Celtics. This time he worked for the minimum with the dangers of a non guaranteed deal. He also served a suspension and soon had to overcome a gruesome wrist injury. It didn't matter to him because he never gives up.
Let me tell you something: Delonte can do everything on the court and he gives you 120% of his self. He can certainly shoot, drive to the hoop and find the open man. He can play some tough D and get under the opponent's skin. He will die for the lost ball and he will always bounce back.
His body and his mind may betray him sometimes but his soul will always make him overcome all adversity. His soul is painted green, in and out, bleeding green through all the pores. Surrounded by the Celtics family he is comfortable again, helped and understood.
In the end, Delonte is just a phenomenal basketball player and a great teammate. Someone to root for, someone to be proud of.
Wild card west, Wild wild one. Always walking on the edge, always playing with fire. An injury away from season ending, a shot away from being the best at everything he does. He never got an "A" but he never lost one either. Always doing the little things, always giving his "A" effort.
Three point, layup, steal or block, you name it.
West makes things happen. When he is on the floor he is the aggressor. He shoots, he drives...he never stands still. He creates, he shakes the world around him and he certainly moves the hearts of fans. You know something will happen when he is on the court.
Sixth man, starter, it doesn't matter to him or to us. He will help us raise banner #18.
He will probably never become an All Star or get any individual recognition. But we will always remember the plays, the hustle and the guts of a true Celtic, a genuine team oriented player that will finally get his wish:
The NBA ring.
Delonte is the man.
Wild, Winning West