West kept out of opener

Updated: October 27, 2009, 10:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CLEVELAND -- The Cavaliers began their run toward an NBA championship without troubled guard Delonte West.

West, who has battled a mood disorder and other personal problems during a turbulent off-season, was inactive as the Cavs opened their season Tuesday night with a 95-89 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Cleveland coach Mike Brown said general manager Danny Ferry and a support team working with West decided the guard was not ready to play.

"They have some things that they feel they have to get in order for him to be active," Brown said. "When they say he's ready then he'll be out on the floor."

West was in Cleveland's locker room before the game. He has not spoken to reporters since media day late last month. West quietly dressed and went for a workout inside Quicken Loans Arena about an hour before the game.

West has battled bipolar disorder in the past. He was arrested on weapons charges near his Maryland home in September and has a court date scheduled in November. He reported to training camp on time, but did not show for the first four practices and then left the Cavaliers for a week to deal with personal issues.

On Monday, West's wife filed a domestic violence report against him. In the report, she says that Delonte West had accused her of cheating on him and that they had argument in which he grabbed her and took her wedding ring and purse. Police said the case remains under investigation and that no charges have been filed.

West also faces a likely NBA suspension once his legal matters have been resolved.

The Cavs have been treating West's assorted issues on a day-to-day basis. They are being sensitive to his needs and want him to get better.

However, the team doesn't need any distractions as it tries to win a first league title and Brown acknowledged there could come a time when they have to make a difficult decision on West.

"I'm sure there may be at some point or another if it gets that far," Brown said. "I don't know. I'm not necessarily looking that far ahead. Right now, I'm concentrating on the guys that we have in uniform and let's lace it up and let's see what happens.

"I have confidence in the guys we have been dressing. We have time to get better. Delonte has time to get better. We got plenty of season left still."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers spent 2 seasons with West in Boston.

"I just pray for him, honestly," he said. "I just hope things work out for him."

Rivers said West wasn't a distraction during his time with the Celtics.

"We didn't have all this," he said. "We had some issues, but we didn't have all this. It's tough. Those are the kids you just hope somehow, someone can touch him. You can't give up on him. You shouldn't give up on anyone breathing, that's my belief. Obviously, I don't know exactly what's going on, but it's a lot of stuff. You just hope somehow, somebody gets to him.

"It's dangerous. You want things to work out for him."

West has been Cleveland's best postseason player other than LeBron James the past two years.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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