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The End of Delonte West in Dallas

I did some hard time in Cleveland a few years back, and I covered quite a bit of basketball. My time there overlapped some with that of Delonte West, who revealed himself to be tough, funny, weird, one of the few seemingly authentic athletes you'll come across in the locker room.

When he signed with Dallas last season, I was thrilled. I thought he could make them better, but mostly I thought he made a great story, both for that authenticity and for his openness about his mental illness.

A season later, he's gone -- suspended, suspended again, now released.

Hard to say whether it's a good move or bad, since the Mavs and West have successfully kept the details of his recent transgressions quiet. But on a team that most experts agree is destined for mediocrity, he promised to bring the funny from time to time, as well as some lock-down defense and reliable bench scoring.

I hope he catches on somewhere else, and I hope he keeps being the same Delonte West from the video below, the guy who loves basketball so much he'd play it with a sock:

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