LeBron: West welcome when he returns

Updated: September 30, 2009, 7:01 PM ET
Associated Press

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James says the Cavaliers will welcome back Delonte West, whenever he comes back.

West
West

West was absent from training camp for the second straight day Wednesday while he deals with personal issues. Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry has spoken at length with West, coach Mike Brown said, adding that the absence is unexcused and that West will be fined.

Ferry declined to meet with reporters Wednesday.

"We've been around this block before with Delonte, so we know how to handle it," James said. "I'm sure he'll be OK. Basketball has nothing to do with what's going on. He needs to take as much time as he needs, and when he comes back, we'll welcome him as we've always done."

James said he called West but didn't get an answer.

West, who has battled depression and mood disorders for years, also could face suspension by the league after he was recently arrested for gun possession in Maryland. Police pulled over his three-wheel motorcycle for a traffic violation and found he was carrying three loaded weapons -- two handguns and a shotgun in a guitar case he had on his back.

He also missed 10 days last year during training camp to seek help for his mental illness.

"We're all concerned about Delonte's well-being. We love him and we're all in the same family," Brown said. "But in the same breath, we're all paid to do a job and that's what we're doing. I've got 18 guys here I have to coach every day and that's what I'm doing."

West attended the team's media day on Monday and was in good spirits. He said he had resumed taking his medications and was excited about the upcoming season. West downplayed the concealed weapons arrest, saying once the details were known "you'll see that it's not as big as some are making it."

He has missed four team practices and no one knows when he might return.

"When he's here, he's the Delonte we all know. Outside of basketball, there are things he struggles with and battles," guard Mo Williams said. "He's seeking professional help for it and we support him 110 percent.

"I'd be worried about someone who doesn't have a supporting cast around him and not trying to help him. I'm really not concerned about him."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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