Found January 10, 2012 on State Of The Celtics:
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During today's Celtics practice, Paul Pierce admitted that he was taken aback by the fact that the club didn't bring back reserve point guard Delonte West during the offseason. (ESPN Boston)

"I thought he’d definitely be back," said Pierce. "It’s hard to kind of develop chemistry when you bring a lot of new faces in each and every year. That’s why I wanted him to come back. He was injured a lot, but he really adds something to the Dallas team that they probably lost in J.J. Barea and Tyson Chandler -- you know, a guy who can come in and give them energy defensively and possibly give them a boost offensively also."

Asked if he was surprised by the team's decision to go in another direction, Pierce admitted he was.


"It was a big surprise, because I thought he would be one of the main guys to come back," said Pierce. "I thought he did so well in the time he played and in the playoffs, so it was a bit of a surprise. But I’m happy for him that he’s found [a comfortable situation] there in Dallas. He’s in the starting lineup right now, and I wish him the best."

Join the club, Paul. I have absolutely no inside information as to why the Celtics and Delonte parted ways, but it appeared that the team wasn't exactly bending over backwards to bring him back. They probably could have offered him for the league minimum and he would have taken it, especially since that's exactly what he's getting in Dallas right now. He didn't want to leave Boston and the majority of the fans loved him for the energy and intensity he brought off the bench.

Was Delonte a nuisance somehow? Was he some sort of distraction in the locker room? The way Pierce and other former teammates talk about him, he seems to be pretty well-liked. Yes, he was injury-riddled last season and maybe that was a turn-off for the front office of a team that desperately needs guys to stay as healthy as possible. Still, he knew Doc's system and having West be the leader of the second unit would have made that group's transition a little smoother. Don't get me wrong, I like what Keyon Dooling's done off the bench and I feel that he can be an asset off the bench. He's already shown that he can hit from the outside if you leave him open. But West has a grittiness and a toughness about him that the Celtics could really use when the starters are resting. I hope Dallas enjoys watching him play.
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