Why no Delonte?

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Why no Delonte?

Tuesday afternoon at practice, Paul Pierce asked a question that many Celtics fans have wondered since the start of the season:

What happened with Delonte West?

"I thought he'd definitely be back," Pierce said of his former teammate, who returns to the Garden with the Mavericks tomorrow night. "It's hard to develop chemistry when you bring in a lot of new faces, each and every year."

In response, let me just say this: The decision to bring back West had to have been 100 unrelated to basketball. I can't claim to know what it was although it's fair to assume it had something to do with the well-known baggage that comes with having West in the locker room but all that being said, it couldn't have been about basketball.

Why?

Here's the logic: Delonte West can do everything that Keyon Dooling can on a basketball court only better.

The Celtics are paying Dooling 2,160,000 this season. Dallas is playing West 1,180,000. Not to mention, Delonte's was familiar with the system, had the respect of his teammates and, I repeat, is a MUCH better player.

Again, this couldn't have been about basketball. Or if it was, not bringing back Delonte West was one of the stupidest decisions of Danny Ainge's tenure.

Of course, there's an argument to be about injuries. I know that West has hard a time staying healthy over his career, and especially last year. But tell me something, if the Celtics were so concerned with bringing in players who they were convinced would be available for the long haul, would they have brought back Marquis Daniels? Nope. At the end of the day, they thought Marquis could help, so they re-signed him.

At the same time, they HAD to have known Delonte West could help. Can you imagine how much he'd help this second unit right now? But no, the Celtics weren't interested. And there had to be a reason and we have to assume it was a good one. But it had nothing to do with basketball.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

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