Mental illness is serious business and I don't pretend to be an expert or anything close, but it's been interesting to follow the Delonte West situation from afar.
For those unfamiliar with West, he is the Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard who missed time last season to seek treatment for a mood disorder and faces criminal charges after being stopped driving a motorcycle with two loaded and concealed handguns on him in Maryland the week before training camp opened. He also had a loaded rifle in a guitar case strapped to his back, but that was legal, apparently. Yesterday he missed both of the Cavaliers' practices with no explanation.
Publicly, team officials have been saying the right things and being supportive, but you wonder how they feel privately. How would you feel if you knew a co-worker, suffering from a mood disorder, stopped taking his medication and started driving around with loaded guns?
Personally, I'd be, um, freaked out. How do you manage a situation like that if your Danny Ferry or Mike Brown? Hell, how do you manage it if you're a reporter covering the team?
I've always loved West's game: as silky a stroke you're never going to see; feisty, unselfish, tireless. A very nice role player and by reputation a decent guy to be around. But mood disorders and weapons are simply not a good mix, you know?
Anthony Parker - the sanest man in the NBA for my money - is looking pretty good in a Cleveland uniform right about now, I tell you that.
Didn't get to see too much of practice yesterday; just three minutes of a high-spirited scrimmage at the end. I'm not sure if the Raptors will be all that good stopping other teams, but they did a hell of a job stopping each other; not a lot of made baskets. It was interesting to watch Bargnani, now in year four, he was the guy directing traffic for the likes of DeMar DeRozan and the other young folk.
I wasn't in practice for five minutes before Colangelo made his way over to bust me for misquoting him or at least mis-attributing him in my story out of media day on Monday, where it was suggested he was predicting 50 wins, a top-five seed and a second-round playoff run.
"I said I want 50 wins," he said. "That's what we need to get one of those spots."
I'll give him that: He was not making a prediction; he was merely setting expectations. Okay? The man expects a 50-win season.