West last played in the NBA in 2011-12, when he averaged 9.6 points and 3.2 assists in 44 games as a point guard for the Dallas Mavericks. He was released by the team in October 2012 after being suspended twice during preseason for violating team rules. In 2009, West, who has dealt with bipolar disorder, was arrested for weaving in and out of traffic on a motorcycle with a shotgun strapped on his back.
The 30-year-old said that he hopes to show teams that "any off-the-court issues or things like that are behind me," and that he's grateful for the opportunity with the Clippers.
While he was out of the NBA, West -- a first-round draft pick in 2004 -- spent a year in the Chinese Basketball Association, where he averaged 22.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 33 games. He also became a father, something he said had a big impact on his outlook. From the Boston Globe:
“[Fatherhood] has been the biggest blessing in the last few years of my life,” West said. “If I never dribbled another basketball again, I’ve already got my championship. As far as basketball goes, mentally, game-wise, I’m better than I have ever been. As far as my game, I don’t think the NBA paid attention to what I was doing in China. I can’t wait to get out there and show them that aspect.”
In the Clippers first summer league game against the Bulls, West started and scored four points with one steal and one assist in 24 minutes.
- Molly Geary