In late September of this year, a video surfaced of former NBA player Delonte West panhandling in the Dallas, TX area, and there were growing concerns about the state of his mental health and safety. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban promptly located him and, with the support of West’s family, got him into a rehab facility.
This past Wednesday, the Shark Tank entrepreneur followed up with Fox Sports Southwest, and he said that things are taking a good turn for West, but there is still work to be done: “He’s clean, he’s sober, he’s taking his medications. He wants to make this all work. But I’m not going to lie and say it’s going to be easy for him. From where he was several months ago, under bridges in Dallas, he’s 180 degrees from there. He’s just miles and miles and miles away from there. I’m proud of the work he’s put in.”
West has faced mental health struggles and was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008. During his eleven-year career, he bounced around on five different NBA teams, where he played for Cuban’s Dallas Mavs from 2011-2012. Then he went overseas and played for the Fujian Sturgeons and the Shanghai Sharks in China as late as 2014.
But earlier this year, bizarre video of West surfaced, showing him to be on the bad end of an altercation and then speaking unintelligibly to the police afterward. His family, former teammates, and other NBA players expressed concern for his safety. Since Cuban’s intervention and with his help, West has been seen in a much healthier state, playing basketball again and spending time with his family.
But this is not the first time Cuban has been noted for generosity acts, especially when it comes to his former players. Earlier this year, veteran guard J.J. Barea was released from the Mavs with a $2.6 million “thank you” as appreciation for his 11 years with the team. Shout out to Mark Cuban for his classiness, and we hope Delonte can continue to get the help and support that he needs.
Photo: Fort Worth Star-Telegram / Getty