WALTHAM When training camp began, Paul Pierce fully expected there to be a lot of new faces on the Boston Celtics roster. It's like that every year, with every team throughout the league.
But to not see Delonte West, who took his talents out West to Dallas, well Pierce acknowledges was a bit of a surprise.
"I thought he'd definitely be back," Pierce said. "It's hard to develop chemistry when you bring in a lot of new faces, each and every year."
West has been with the Green team during two different stints, quickly winning over fans and his teammates with his gritty play at both ends of the floor.
During the C's playoff run which ended with a second-round loss to the Miami Heat, West's play was one of the highlights.
It is unclear exactly why the Celtics didn't make a big push to bring him back, but certainly the growth and development of Avery Bradley was a factor. It would have been difficult for the C's to bring West back, and still managed to find minutes for Bradley, too.
Since joining the Mavs, West now finds himself in a role that's actually greater than the one he had with the Celtics. West has appeared in all nine games for the Mavericks, which includes eight starts. He's averaging eight points and 3.1 assists while playing just under 21 minutes a game.
"He's really added something to the Dallas team that they probably lost in J.J. Barea (now in Minnesota) and Tyson Chandler (now in New York), a guy who could come in and give them energy defensively, and give them a boost offensively also."
Pierce added, "I'm happy for him; he's found some comfort there in Dallas. He's in the starting lineup now. I wish him the best."
West recently made headlines when the NBA champion Mavericks met President Barack Obama at the White House, and West couldn't be with the team because of gun-related charges he had to deal with a couple years ago.
The 6-foot-3 guard took to Twitter to express his disappointment in not being able to attend, in addition to ranting about the media.