Troubling image of unrecognisable star
Images of an unrecognisable Delonte West in early 2020 left basketball fans and past and present players calling for the league to step in to help the former star.
The two videos shared to social media showed a shirtless West being beaten up in the middle of the street before being questioned by police.
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Over the weekend a new image emerged on social media of West standing on the side of a road in Texas, wearing a baggy jumper and sweatpants, holding a sign asking for money.
The photo once again left fans heartbroken showing the former NBA star's devastating fall from grace.
West, 37, played in the NBA for eight seasons, representing the Boston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. He earned upwards of $16 million in salary across his time in the league.
West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008 and last played in early 2015 in what was then called the D-League.
In the aftermath of the recent image being shared across social media, West's former coach Doc Rivers and former teammate Jameer Nelson reportedly attempted to get West much needed assistance.
On Monday however it was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who stepped up the efforts when he tracked down West at a service station in Texas.
Cuban had been attempting to contact West for several days before finally getting in touch with the former star agreeing to meet, according to TMZ.
West, whose wellbeing has been a concern of his family and friends for several years, is open to the idea of entering rehab and the billionaire Cuban is offering to help cover the costs and took the former star to a hotel, the report said.
The Mavericks owner confirmed to the Washington Post he had tracked down West and helped him out, but said the rest of the story was up to West and his family to tell.
Mark Cuban is a real one! Picks up Delonte West from a gas station after videos surface of Delonte begging for money in Texas pic.twitter.com/CvsdxXAJa5— Rare Hip-Hop Moments (@RareHHM) September 29, 2020
In 2016, after failing to resurrect his professional career, he was famously spotted wandering barefoot outside a Jack In The Box restaurant in Houston wearing what appeared to be a hospital gown.
"I used to be but I'm not about that life anymore," he reportedly said when asked whether he was indeed West.
Three years later, a social media photo showed a man, appearing to be West, homeless, setting off more alarms within the NBA community.
- with Mark Fischer, NY Post
Originally published as Troubling image of unrecognisable star