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Category: Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks' Delonte West says he's banned from White House trip

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Delonte West apparently won't be with the rest of his Dallas Mavericks teammates when they make their ceremonial visit to the White House on Monday. And it's not because he signed with the team months after it won the NBA championship -- new additions were invited to meet President Obama as well.

West, a native of Washington, D.C., told the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram that he has been banned from visiting the White House with the Mavericks after a routine background check by the president's security team.

[Updated at 11:57 a.m.: Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said West was cleared with the rest of his teammates and could have taken part in the event. A team spokeswoman, Sarah Melton, also said West was not banned from the White House ceremony but declined to comment on why he didn't attend.]

"I'm banned from going to the White House, so I'm not going to make it," West said Saturday night after a 96-81 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. "But I'm going home to D.C., I'm just not allowed to go to the White House.

"That's what happens when you make bad decisions in your life. You can't go to the White House."

In 2009, police found three weapons in a guitar case being carried by West after he was pulled over for a traffic violation. West eventually pleaded guilty to the weapons and traffic charges but avoided any jail time.

West, who made some more news this weekend with a profanity-laced Twitter rant, said not to feel bad for him about missing the White House trip. He said he's fine hanging out in his own home in D.C. and suggested that maybe we should be feeling sorry for the president instead.

"I've been there 100 times in my lifetime," West said. "I live right around the corner. ... 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."

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-- Chuck Schilken

Nowitzki delivers the heat for Rangers

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Dallas Mavericks center Dirk Nowitzki threw out the first pitch before the Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday, delivering a low strike –- which was better than his performance in July after the Mavs won the NBA title.

“This time they told me to throw a four‑seam fastball,” said Nowitzki, who wore a blue Rangers jersey and cap. “I still don't understand what that means.  But I think that's the grip I had. Or was it a two‑seam fastball? I forgot.”

As for the NBA lockout, Nowitzki said he’s disappointed there hasn’t been more progress in talks between the league and the players.

“We were all hoping with the mediator that something was going to happen, and just talks broke off, so it's very unfortunate,” he said. “Hopefully we can get something going here anytime soon. But it doesn't look good.

"I've just been keeping in shape, working out, doing lots of cardio and lifting a little bit and running. If the season will start any time soon, I think I'll be ready.”

Nowitzki grew up in Germany, where baseball is a minor sport. Still, he was asked if he would consider an offer to try out for the Rangers if the NBA lockout continued.

"I  would love that," he said before turning serious.

"If there's no settlement I'll probably go back home soon, start training with my coach again," he said.  "It's time to really get back in the routine. Got to keep the options open, maybe see what's going on overseas."

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Ex-Dodger Rafael Furcal played his cards right in joining St. Louis

-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from Arlington, Texas

Photo: Dirk Nowitzki throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday. Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

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