Rivers expresses concern over latest Delonte West suspension

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Rivers expresses concern over latest Delonte West suspension

WALTHAM, Ma. - Once again, trouble has found its way into the life of former Boston Celtic Delonte West.

For the second time in less than a week, West has been suspended indefinitely by the Dallas Mavericks for conduct "detrimental to the team."

"The suspension is effective immediately," said Dallas GM Don Nelson in a statement released by the Mavs on Thursday.

Following the announcement, West took to Twitter to express his disappointment with the decision.

"And it just ain't right ... imma leave it at that," West wrote on his verified Twitter account, @Charleeredz13. "no ill will towards no one ... I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes."

Doc Rivers has always had a soft spot for his former players. But it was always to a greater extent with West who among other things, battled a bipolar disorder.

"I love Delonte," Rivers told CSNNE.com. "I'm always worried about him."

Added Jason Terry, who played with West in Dallas last season. "I just remember he was the guy you wanted on your team. He's a competitor. He was a hell of a teammate and I loved playing with him."

 West has had a slew of problems at just about every stop along his NBA journey, although the drama was relatively low during two separate stints with Boston.

"Everybody here loved Delonte," said Paul Pierce. "I loved his competitiveness. Obviously, everybody has their own issues, some more documented than others. But I love what he brings to the table. He can be a character at times; he's very free spirited. But a lot of people love to be around him."

Although a third return to Boston seems highly unlikely - rookie Kris Joseph has the 15th and final roster spot for the Celtics - that doesn't mean the C's stopped caring about him.

It was clear in Doc Rivers' words and his facial expressions that West's latest troubles have him worried more so about the person than the player.

"I focus on all the guys I've coached," said Rivers, who added that he plans to try and contact West very soon. "I call Perk (Kendrick Perkins), I call Al (Jefferson) ... You may stop coaching them, but you never stop worrying. It's like your own kid that grows up and goes out of your house. I don't know if the worrying ever changes, but I am definitely concerned about this one."

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.