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West opens up a bit about past issues

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / September 22, 2011

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Delonte West has been through varying degrees of controversy the past two years.

His arrest in September of 2009 after being caught on a three-wheeled motorcycle carrying four weapons, including a shotgun in a guitar case, started a strange spiral. Before that, he had revealed publicly that he struggles with bipolar disorder. For most of the 2009-10 season, he avoided the media and missed games because of injury. The climax was the 2010 playoffs, when the Cavaliers were eliminated by the Celtics amid reports of friction between West and LeBron James.

West came to the Celtics last season, getting a chance to redeem himself on the court and stabilize his life off it. But the guard recently revealed to SLAM magazine that nothing was easy about the season. He was under house arrest for eight months, which complicated his professional life.

“When I wasn’t in the arena, I had an ankle bracelet monitor on,’’ he said. “And right after the game, they’d put it right back on and I’d have to go straight back home.’’

West also gave the magazine his version of what happened when he was caught with the weapons, saying that after taking medicine for the mood disorder, he got a call from his mother telling him some of his friends were playing with guns in his Washington D.C.-area basement studio.

West said he decided to relocate the guns to an empty house he owned nearby, so he gathered the weapons and set off.

“I’m on the Beltway, cruisin’,’’ said West. “Soon I start realizing I’m dozing in and out. I open my eyes and I went from this lane to that. I’m swervin’, and by the time I wake up, I’m about three exits past my exit.

“There’s this truck flying beside me . . . and I’m scared to death. So I seen an officer coming up and I try to flag him down. I pull up next to him. He slows down and I get up in front of him. I tell the officer I’m not functioning well and I’m transporting weapons. The rest of the story is what it is.’’

“I’m not proud of it,’’ said West, “but it looks way worse than it was.’’

West is an unrestricted free agent this season. He was on his best behavior last season in Boston, but was snakebitten by injuries, playing just 24 games.

Still, coach Doc Rivers, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, and ownership are supporters, and West has said he wants to return to Boston.

Julian Benbow can be reached at

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