As we mentioned on SbB Live last night, Delonte West missed his second straight day of practice for the Cavaliers, apparently holed up in his apartment and not answering the phone. Well, now make that three missed practices (out of a total of three), as West didn’t show up for this morning’s workouts, according to the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER’s Brian Windhorst.
The Cavs are saying that West is “attending to personal matters,” which translates to he hasn’t been taking his meds for what is reportedly bipolar disorder. If that’s true, the Cavs have bought themselves a lot more trouble than they likely realize.
Bipolar can be a really serious thing, and West’s teammates are right to be concerned about him. Windhorst, via Twitter, reported this quote from LeBron James this morning.
Speaking as someone who has a good friend who is bipolar, James is right; either he answers or he doesn’t, and there isn’t much you can do about it. I’m no doctor, although I play one on the Internet … and I don’t claim to know for certain that West is bipolar. But if he is, Cleveland is in for an interesting season.
My friend is one of the more intelligent people I know, has many talents, and is generally level headed. But when he’s off his meds, sad, weird things happen. One evening I received a call from somewhere in Mexico, and it was my friend, who announced that he had just purchased a villa and wanted to fly me out for a week, all expenses paid. As I knew he was unemployed, I wondered how this could be. Then it dawned on me; he was off his meds.
Thousands in debt, he eventually had to be kidnapped by relatives and brought back to the states.
Now imagine if my friend is the starting shooting guard for the Cavs. Free tickets, well, sure. But I’d never know from one game to the next if he’d be there. It’s also called manic depression, and there are more levels and varieties of the disorder than one can shake a stick at. It can range from just feeling the occasional melancholy to, well, waking up in Mexico with a lease to beachfront property.
Ex-Raiders lineman Barret Robbins, who says he is bipolar, was in the midst of a manic episode when he went AWOL from the team on the eve of Super Bowl XXXVII. Barret is currently in rehab and battling the disorder. But it can be a long road to recovery, and even when you get better, you don’t stay that way without taking medication.
At this point there’s no sure way of knowing if West is bipolar. But if he is, the Cavs are in for an adventure.