If this photo isn’t taken out of context, then somebody needs to help Delonte West — now.
A photo of the former first-round draft pick and seven-year NBA veteran leaked over the weekend on Twitter and it doesn’t look good. Be the judge and check out the picture for yourself.
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This isn’t the first time that West has appeared to be in a bad frame of mind. A video back in 2016 went viral showing the former NBA guard in a Maryland suburb asking for money outside of a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant while walking around barefoot.
However, West denied that he was asking for money for himself. He stated that he was actually helping a paralyzed homeless man.
“I was helping a homeless man in my neighborhood that’s paralyzed from neck down. I parked my car and got out to help because it was 90 degree weather and i was feeling blessed at the moment for just having legs.”
West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, although he disputes the diagnosis, claiming his behavior is a result of temporary depression and the stresses of a basketball lifestyle.
His reputation was rather clean for the first five seasons of his career until an arrest on Sept. 17, 2009 changed the scope of his career. It was on that night that West was arrested for carrying weapons during a traffic violation stop.
That, combined with the silly rumor that he had sexual relations with LeBron James‘ mother — led to this foolish false reputation that West is “crazy” for the last several years.
If you don’t remember the LeBron backstory, here you go, courtesy of Slate:
“But despite these ups and downs, West played well, and the Cavs went into the playoffs with the NBA’s best record. Then Cleveland’s (and the world’s) best player, LeBron James, played less than his best against Boston, and the Cavs lost the Eastern Conference semifinals in six games. Not quite two months later, James went on television and said he was taking his talents to South Beach.
Why did the Cavaliers falter in LeBron’s final playoff run with the team? The day after Cleveland bombed out of the postseason, an email began to circulate among sports fans. “I was just told from my brother that a very reliable source informed my uncle that Delonte has been banging [LeBron’s mother] Gloria James for some time now,” reads one version of the email. “Somehow I guess LeBron found out before game four and it has destroyed our chemistry and divided our team.” Other iterations of the gossip sourced the rumor to “someone who works at a law firm that deals with sports litigation,” “David Stern’s office,” “my dad and his friends in Cleveland,” and the general contractor for the Cavaliers’ arena.
James’ lawyer actually sent a cease-and-desist letter — essentially denying that there was any truth to this ridiculous claim — but the damage was already done
West spent eight years in the NBA and actually started the majority of the games he appeared in during his career. The now 36-year-old was originally drafted in the first round back in 2004 by the Boston Celtics and would go on to have a stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers before returning to Boston and then ending his career with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011-12 season.
During his eight-season career, West started 258 of the 432 games he appeared in, averaging 9.7 points and 3.6 assists per game on 44.8 percent shooting from the field and 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Let’s hope that this was just a bad photo of West and that he’s living his best life.
Follow D.J. Siddiqi on Twitter @DJSiddiqi