If you haven’t caught the story yet, here’s a link to Windhorst’s most recent article, which outlines most of what’s happened so far and provides some nice insight into what’s been going on with Delonte over the last little while.
Basically, here’s what happened. Delonte cut off a police officer while riding his motorcycle on the freeway, and they found two loaded handguns on him, as well as a shotgun strapped to his leg. Now, carrying a gun, while not a decision I would make, is understandable. Athletes have a lot of money, many of them feel like targets when they go out in public, et cetera. But two loaded pistols and a shotgun? That’s a wee bit excessive. West’s documented issues with bipolar disorder do, obviously, escalate the concern here.
At this point, I’m going to say it’s best to hold the breaks on this situation for a while, because we still don’t know a lot of details about the situation itself (Were the guns obtained illegally? What reason did Delonte give for being armed? Is Delonte looking at jail time), and, more importantly, we really don’t know Delonte West.
Delonte’s player profile is still forthcoming, but to the extent that I have favorite athletes, Delonte is one of them. He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played, gives his all every night, is regularly hilarious and witty in interviews, and opened up an important discussion with his admission that he suffers from bipolar disorder. But somehow, I feel strangely unfazed by this turn of events, because at some point I’ve reconciled that knowing the above about Delonte West doesn’t mean I know Delonte West. I could go on and on, and may at some point this off-season, but there’s really a whole lot more to say than that.
Now isn’t the time for a snap judgement or to rush to Delonte’s defense. Right now, I’m hoping that the facts of what happened get cleared up soon, that Delonte receives and accepts an appropriate penalty or lack thereof in the eyes of the law, and that Delonte does well through whatever may happen next.