LeBron James, Delonte West, and the New York Knicks: Coincidence?

By Thomas Duffy
Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

With Amar’e Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace out for the rest of the season, the New York Knicks have some holes to fill in their roster. Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, and James White could be in danger of being dropped from the team if the Knicks choose to pursue Delonte West, who was cut by the Dallas Mavericks in the beginning of the season.

West is a head-case, and was bounced from the Mavs because of two separate locker room incidents in the pre-season. The guard, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was picked up by Dallas’ D-League affiliate, and New York was reportedly “monitoring” his game on his Saturday.

Would this move make sense? Not really- the Knicks currently have an abundance of guards and are very thin in the big-man department. But West, who has averaged 9.6 points per game over the course of his eight year career, could help J.R. Smith shoulder the offensive load for the second unit.

Outside of his ability, there is another reason why the Knicks may be interested in West suiting up in blue and orange.

In 2010, when West played for the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside LeBron James, rumors surfaced that the troubled guard had had an affair with James’ mother. Although West has since dismissed those rumors, Hall-of-Famer Calvin Murphy, at the time of rumors, was quoted as saying:

“Unfortunately, my sources in the NBA tell me that [the rumors are] absolutely true. My sources, and they’re legit, tell me that the only people that didn’t know it was happening was LeBron and me.’ He added that the rumors were “absolutely true,” and “absolutely horrifying.”

Could this history with James be a reason why the Knicks are pursuing West? The season after the rumors surfaced, West was signed by the Boston Celtics, who lost to James’ Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, but Boston was Miami’s only real competition in the Eastern Conference at the time. Did the Celtics have the same idea as the Knicks (potentially) do?

James is playing at a different level than the rest of the NBA, and it could make sense for the Knicks to try and gain a psychological advantage over him.

West can play, but is his history with one of the Knicks’ biggest rivals playing a role (no matter how small) in New York’s interest in his services?

Follow Thomas Duffy on Twitter @TD_Knicks for articles, news, and all things NBA.

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