NBPA has helped Delonte West financially and with residence change
A video of former NBA guard Delonte West made the rounds on social media on Monday, with the ex-first-round pick of the Boston Celtics in the 2004 draft seen on the side of a street appearing destitute and nearly incomprehensible. West during his eight-year NBA career was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggled with mental health issues including depression.
With West’s struggling condition going viral on the web, the NBPA, the NBA players’ union, has announced helping West, 36, find a new home and providing financial levity to the former professional athlete.
The NBPA helped facilitate his residence change from Dallas to Maryland in recent years and extensively supported him financially, as recently as this month, according to sources. Ainge and the Celtics have given him a scouting job to scout games in the D.C. and East Coast area, sources said, but West has had mixed results due to fluctuating attendance. His close friends and family have all stepped in whenever they could.
Delonte West notably spent two and half seasons alongside LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008-10 before returning to the Celtics in the following season and last playing for the Dallas Mavericks in 2011-12.
Fourteen-year free-agent point guard Jameer Nelson, a college teammate of West’s at Saint Joseph’s, shared a response to the dispiriting video.
“I’m sick today my stomach right now seeing the videos of Delonte. 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.”
The players’ association in recent years has strived to implement more concrete policies and services for mental health alongside the physical tolls of playing professionally.