Former NBA player Delonte West may finally be getting the help his family and former peers feel he desperately needs.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban picked West up from a gas station Monday in Texas after an image circulated on social media appearing to show the former first-round pick panhandling in the area last week, according to TMZ.
West, whose well-being 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, the report said.
West last played in the NBA for Cuban’s Mavericks in 2012 and his tragic fall has been in part documented by images of the 37-year-old uploaded to social media since then by passersby.
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. In January, a video surfaced showing a disheveled West handcuffed and shirtless on the side of a road in Maryland following an incident in which a witness told police that the former point guard and first-round pick threw a glass bottle at another man.
No charges were filed, and it was later reported that West, who grew up in Maryland, knew the other man.
“I’m sick today [sic] my stomach right now seeing the videos of Delonte,” Jameer Nelson, who played with West at Saint Joseph’s, wrote at the time. “To answer everybody that’s reaching out to me about his situation … all we can do is pray for Him and his family and hope that he seeks the proper help. Mental illness is something that a lot of people deal with and don’t even know it, until sometimes it’s too late. I’m not sure what exactly is going on with Dwest but he knows I’m in his corner and will help him get through this.”
Since then, Nelson, the NBA, its players association and Doc Rivers, one of West’s former coaches, have tried to get in contact with West, TMZ reported.
West played eight seasons in the NBA for the SuperSonics, Mavericks, Cavaliers and Celtics, earning $16 million.