The Dallas Mavericks were congratulated at the White House by President Barack Obama on Monday for their winning the 2011 NBA Finals over the Miami Heat and being crowned Champions of the Association. One member of the roster was not on hand during the ceremony; starting guard Delonte West who told reporters that he had been banned from meeting the President due to being convicted of weapons charges back in 2009. The veteran was stopped by police near his home near Washington D.C. while riding a motorcycle and had three guns strapped to his body.
“ESPN.com” has reported that a spokesman for the Secret Service stated that West was not barred from meeting the President. Agent Edwin Donovan told ABC News that shooting guard who played for the Boston Celtics last season had not been denied access to the White House or the President. Donovan said “The individual in question was never someone that would not be permitted to attend the event today. He is on the list for entry today and was never advised otherwise to my knowledge.”
Mavericks spokeswoman Sarah Melton also denied that the Secret Service had stopped West from attending the ceremony. West told reporters over the weekend “That’s what happens when you make bad decisions in your life. You can’t go to the White House. It’s going to be a shame the president isn’t going to get a chance to meet me. I’m the president of my house.”
The guard was not allowed to play outside of the country during the NBA Lockout due to restrictions from his probation. He had tweeted at the time that he would have to go to work in a retail store in order to make money until a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement had been ratified. West signed with the Mavericks just days before training camp began last month.