Delonte West Player Mailbox

The Cavaliers have had some free spirits in the locker room over the years, but Delonte West came along in a blockbuster trade last February and broke the mold. After inking an extension in the offseason, West worked his way into the starting lineup – where he’s been a fixture since opening night.

The aspiring poet and painter is fourth on the team in scoring at 11.4 ppg – shooting .529 from the floor and .491 from long-distance. And West has proven over the past week why he's such a valuable defender in the backcourt.

But numbers aside, Delonte is one deep dude and he took a moment from the practice court to answer some of your questions in his Player Mailbox.

Comments: Delonte, what do you like to do when you get an off-day during the season?
First Name: Tonya
City: Cleveland Hts.
State: Ohio

Delonte West: I like to whatever the day brings. I’m not biased to doing anything. I’m a big outdoorsman, so I love being outside – even just sitting outside. I love going to the beach. I know there aren’t many beaches in Cleveland; I prefer the “tropical” kind of beaches.

But I like anything where I can be outside. I try not to stress; I try to enjoy each day.

Comments: Where do you find your inspiration for writing your poetry and music?
First Name: Kyle
City: Chicago
State: Illinois

Delonte: My inspiration just kind of comes to me. I don’t sit at home with a poetry book or an easel or a sketch pad. I just wake up some mornings and I feel really artistic or I’ll see a picture in my head over and over and I just put it on paper. Or sometimes I’ll just find some words and just write them down.

There’s no definite time of day or night where I feel more artistic. I’ll grab anything – a pencil and write on the back of an envelope or a piece of paper I have in my hand. It just comes to me.

Comments: So are you a cooker? And if you do cook, what's the main dish?
First Name: Sarah
City: Bowling Green
State: Ohio

Delonte: Yeah, I’m a cooker. I’m big with the pasta. I make a good spaghetti dish and a good shrimp pasta. You steam the shrimp first, then you boil it – add some hot sauce and some season-all. Then you put it in some marinara sauce and you put it over a bed of rice. Oh yeah, I got a little spicy stuff now.

Comments: What is with the "pinky five" you give each teammate in pregame introductions?
First Name: Brian
City: Hilliard
State: OH

Delonte: I like to keep the smiles rolling. Sometimes, before a game, guys will get tense. So I just always give guys something to laugh about. Instead of going out there with the traditional handshake, I’ll make something up every day just to do something different to loosen guys up. I’ll keep the pinky for a while.

Comments: Drew Gooden had bald head giveaway night. Anderson and Ben have fros for wig giveaway night. What could the club giveaway to fans in order for us to represent Delonte West?
First Name: Ryan
City: Broadview Heights
State: Ohio

Delonte: I don’t know – I might join the fro party. Then again, maybe I’ll have a “Pinky Night.”

Comments: Earlier this season, you had your hair braided. Was there any specific reason for this?
First Name: Ade
City: London
State: England

Delonte: Nothing special. Actually, you’re probably going to see my hair braided more often. I’m just going to grow my hair out forever. I’m not going to dread it up, but I’m just going to let it grow. I’ll put it in braids sometimes because it helps your hair grow faster. It pulls your hair out of your scalp.

Comments: Tarence Kinsey says that you know how to get the ladies. I have trouble with that. What kind of advice would you give me?
First Name: Chaz
City: Akron
State: Ohio

Delonte: Here’s the thing: Go out and get you some money.

Nah, actually the most important thing is to be yourself. Be confident in who you are. Have confidence in what you are – be your own person. You’re not the next man, so you shouldn’t feel compelled to do what the next man does. Be confident and comfortable with yourself and that’s the best advice I can give. The ladies will like you for who you are.

Comments: I am thirteen and my mom won't let me get any tattoos. Can you tell my mom that it's okay to get a few?
First Name: Joey
City: Defiance
State: OH

Delonte: Not at all!

If you don’t have any, that’s a good thing. At first, people went out and got tattoos to be different and be rebels. But now, everybody has them. It’s very rare that you see someone without tattoos. So, it shows that you’re a stronger person to not go along with the in-crowd or go along with the fad. If you have no tattoos, it shows that you’re comfortable with yourself.

Comments: What is the most important lesson you learned from Coach Martelli at St. Joe's?
First Name: Nick
City: Middleburg Heights
State: Ohio

Delonte: I learned to try to be responsible as a person. He taught me more life lessons off the court; more about growing up and being a man. He was also a great basketball coach, but he helped me grow up to be a man.

Comments: What qualities do you look for in a potential girlfriend?
First Name: Emily
City: Bay Village
State: Oh

Delonte: A female who’s down to earth and who’s comfortable with herself. I’m not a complicated man. I like someone who’ll just sit down and watch cartoons with me. Or a girl who doesn’t feel she has to be the main attraction everywhere she goes; someone who’s comfortable being herself. A woman who doesn’t always have to be on the scene, who doesn’t have to be made up everywhere she goes, because she knows she’s got it – doesn’t need no confirmation from other people.

I like a woman who knows how to be a queen, ‘cause I’m definitely a king.

Comments: Hey Delonte, as a Cavs fan my entire life (originally from Cleveland) living in Michigan I take a lot of lip. One thing that is asked of me, however, is what exactly does “hands down, man’s down” mean?
First Name: Mike
City: East Lansing
State: Michigan

Delonte: That means if you run out at a shooter with your hands down – man down!

It’s just a term you express when you knock down a shot in a man’s face when they come out challenging you without putting a hand in your face. You pop it and yell: “Hands down, man’s down!”