In recent years, leagues have started to do what they can to help players avoid the fate suffered by the athletes featured in the excellent 30 For 30 documentary Broke in addition to the many others who managed to make millions of dollars over the course of their career only to lose it all thanks to reckless purchases, ill-fated investments, and an overall failure to prepare themselves for the financial realities they’re confronted with when their playing days come to an end.
There is perhaps no athlete who’s experienced a more dramatic spiral than Delonte West, who bounced around the NBA over the course of a decade where he made $14 million before closing out his time in the league with the Mavericks. After multiple stints in China and the G League, his professional career officially came to an end in 2015, which marked the start of an increasingly worrying decline.
West has struggled with mental health issues for most of his life, and over the past few years, he’s appeared to be engaged in a constant battle with them thanks to a number of troubling incidents that stretch back to 2016, when he was spotted barefoot in public clad in a hospital gown and then seen begging for money on a street in Maryland (although he claimed he was trying to raise funds for a disabled veteran).
West found himself back in the news last summer when a photo of him looking very rough after landing on the street due to a drug addiction started the make the rounds online.
Former NBA Cleveland Cavaliers player Delonte West went from being a millionaire to living in the streets because of his vice with drugs. Pray that he can make a comeback in his life 🙏 pic.twitter.com/iILf3gmBfi
— My Mixtapez (@mymixtapez) August 26, 2019
Earlier this year, he was at the center of a disturbing video showing him being beaten up and going on a bizarre rant after being handcuffed by police following the altercation. After the clip surfaced, a number of people—including LeBron James and Dez Bryant—offered to help him get his life together but it was easier said than done, as West has a tendency to turn down anyone who reaches out to assist him.
However, it appears he’s finally decided to tackle his problems with the help of Mark Cuban, who tracked him down in Dallas earlier this week after a picture of him begging for money in the city went viral. After the two linked up, the Mavericks owner took him to a hotel room and stayed with him as they formulated a plan with the help of his family, and according to a report from Shams Charania, he’s agreed to enter rehab (which Cuban has offered to cover the cost of).
Mark Cuban reached out to Delonte West's mother, Delphina Addison, asking how he can help. Answer was simple: Find Delonte.
Cuban did on Monday, waited with West until his mother arrived to hotel, and West finally took step many close to him have awaited: Entered rehab. 🙏🏽 https://t.co/IiVKGH3a62
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 29, 2020
Here’s to hoping he’ll finally be able to turn things around.