Cavs' Delonte West relieved to be at camp

Sep 29, 2009 - 2:03 AM By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio(AP) -- Delonte West reached down and tugged on the jersey he was wearing. It never felt so good to be a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"It's the NBA, man," West said. "I'm happy to be here."

West, recently arrested on gun possession charges in Maryland, seemed relieved to be back among his teammates on Monday, less than two weeks after he was arrested for carrying concealed weapons while riding a three-wheel motorcycle near his home in Maryland.

West did not provide any details about his legal troubles as the Cavs held their media day, which was cut short after just two hours because of a widespread power outage.

West said he has resumed taking medication for bipolar disorder, a mental issue he has been dealing with for years.

He was arrested on Sept. 17 after police found West was carrying two concealed handguns and a shotgun in a guitar case he had on his back after they pulled him over on a traffic violation. He was booked on two misdemeanors and must appear in court on Nov. 20.

West also faces a suspension from the NBA. The league will likely wait until the matter is resolved in the courts before imposing any penalty.

"We've got to respect the legal process," West said. "I understand there's a lot of questions a lot of things you want to know about the situation. Right now I want to focus on this team and playing basketball."

West was asked what he can say.

"Once the details come out surrounding the situation, you'll see that it's not as big as some are making it," he said. "There's a lot going on with a lot of athletes in the news and it was just bad timing before training camp, unfortunately. That's going to handle itself."

West was asked if he felt threatened or was in danger.

He paused and appeared ready to answer when he was cut off by a Cavs spokesman.

West left the Cavs last year in training camp for treatment on a mood disorder. His departure was prompted by an incident during practice when he became volatile toward a referee who was working a scrimmage and then teammates who tried to calm him down.

When he returned to camp, West candidly opened up about his battles with mood swings and depression.

West indicated that his recent problems may have been caused by him not taking his medication.

"I'm back to taking my meds and I'm focused on basketball," he said. "I feel good. I feel great. I'm dealing with some issues a lot of you are familiar with the past. I get highs and get lows. But all last year I've been consistent with being in a nice routine. I was in a routine that I kind of got out of this summer. I kind of got away from it. Just driving into Cleveland last night I was getting a breath of fresh air."

West's teammates love his physical style of play and his off-beat humor. They are also offering their support as he works through his troubles.

"This is a safe haven for him," guard Mo Williams said. "When he's in this gym around us, it's like therapy to him. It's a personal issue. We're all family and we will listen and lend an ear. But this is a personal issue. I think he deals with it great because he comes in and competes. He's here."






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