UPDATE: Cavs G.M. has been in touch with West and says that the troubled point guard was attending to a ''personal matter.''
INDEPENDENCE - Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West didn't participate in the first of two team practices today at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Coach Mike Brown said that West wasn't there and he wasn't aware of whether he'd be available for the day's second workout or if the team had been in touch with the enigmatic Cavs' guard, saying that G.M. Danny Ferry had been handling that situation and West could easily been in contact with him.
Last season West missed a couple weeks of training camp to deal with what was later revealed to be a mental illness. But this year, off season troubles began to trickle into the season. Upper Marlboro, Md. police arrested West earlier this month on weapons charges after he confessed to having three guns on him including a loaded shotgun in a guitar case.
The NBA and Cavaliers said they will let the legalities of his situation play out before deciding whether to levy any penalty.
What the team seems to be focused on is ensuring there are no distractions to derail what could be a run at a championship.
'''We have to have a bunker mentality. The reality of it is with the addition of Shaq with the addition of the other people we have there are going to be a lot of distractions,'' Coach Mike Brown said. '' We have to try as best we can to maintain that bunker mentality by not allowing outside influences to take us off course.
''I have to continue to look forward and coach this team and not allowing us to get sidetracked. Whether it’s Delonte or someone else, if they miss practice and it’s an unexcused practice, that will be handled internally.''
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