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BEST PLAYER WE HATED TO SEE LEAVE Dallas 2013 - Delonte West

Delonte West was, for a time, the most interesting man in professional basketball. He was the anti-star — a dogged defender, an able ball handler and an often clutch outside shooter who compensated for his lack of physical size and God-given talent by busting his ass during every second of court time he got. He brought depth and experience to the Mavs' bench, and he brought it on the cheap. But he brought something else too. Unlike so many of his contemporaries, West was real. He talked about his struggles with bipolar disorder. During at least one offseason, he worked construction. But it's his sense of humor we'll miss. His Twitter handle, @CharleeRedz13, was a strange and hilarious window into the mind of a man who once told an ESPN reporter at the Dallas Zoo that he'd just given birth to a baby cheetah. His delightful weirdness may also have had a dark side. The Mavs waived his contract following a still dimly understood "outburst" in the locker room. He finished a lackluster season with the Texas Legends. There are rumors that the Knicks and the Grizzlies are looking at him, but there is no chance that he'll ever don a Mavs' uniform again, and that just makes us sad.

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