Unless you were a fan of basketball, you may not have heard the name Delonte West.
Due to the poor condition he was seen in by 2020, you have learned his name.
West was once one of the best players that his school had ever seen and played alongside LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sadly, mental health issues and drug addiction took their toll on the veteran point guard.
What Is Delonte West’s Net Worth?
Delonte West only has a net worth of $1,000, the last time anyone was able to check.
Although he was once an amazing basketball player, his untreated mental illness led him into an addiction to drugs and becoming homeless.
During the height of his career, West had a salary of $14 Million.
After rumors of his off-court behavior began to spread, West couldn’t handle the bullying or mistreatment he got from those who believed the rumors to be true.
Delonte West was born in July of 1983 and raised in Washington, DC by his parents.
His mother, Delphina Addison, is African American and his father, Dmitri West Sr., is European and Native American.
The unique features he had made him a target for heavy bullying, which often referred to the color of his skin and hair.
West went to high school in Maryland at Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
He began playing basketball at a young age with the dream of becoming a professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association.
Delonte West wasn’t the only person from his high school who went on to play professional basketball.
One of his classmates was Eddie Basden, who also joined the National Basketball Association and went on to become a star.
Before he graduated high school, he was given the Player of the Year award, which made many colleges turn their heads in his direction.
He ended up choosing to go to Saint Joseph’s University and made history at the school for being the best backcourt they ever had.
His skills helped carry his team to the top eight at the NCAA finals in 2003.
By the time West had graduated college, he averaged about a 51% shot accuracy, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.
Delonte West And The Boston Celtics
Delonte West’s work for the NCAA finals helped prove to the young basketball star that he was capable of taking on a professional sports career.
He entered himself in the 2004 National Basketball Association draft and was chosen as the 24th pick overall for the Boston Celtics.
West had a difficult first year that was filled with injuries, but he still came out as a point guard by the end of his first season.
He served as the Celtics’ point guard until 2006 when he switched from being a point guard to become a shooting guard.
West only served as their shooting guard for a single season before going back to point guard.
At the end of the 2007 season, Delonte West and Rajon Rondo were sharing starting minutes as the point guard.
However, the Boston Celtics ended up trading him to the Seattle Supersonics.
He would only remain with the Sonics for a year before being traded to Cleveland Cavaliers, and then back to the Boston Celtics.
Fans were elated to get back their lucky #13 player, Delonte West.
Boston Celtics fans loved West for the way that he would sacrifice anything to keep the ball away from the hoop.
However, not everyone was excited to have him on the team at this time.
It was public knowledge that Delonte West had been struggling with his mental health since his time on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It didn’t take long for the Boston Celtics to find that they needed West to help balance their team.
West was the best at providing a perimeter presence, which is something that the rest of the defensive players lacked on the team.
However, the season didn’t end well because West missed 10 games due to weapon charges he had been arrested on.
Playing For The Cleveland Cavaliers
In 2007, Delonte was traded from Boston Celtics to Cleveland Cavaliers.
This acquisition came with a three-year $12 million contract.
While playing for the Cavaliers, Delonte West was able to befriend the young Lebron James.
This was the point when Delonte West was making more than he had ever made in his entire life.
He played as the team’s shooting guard, and his career was on the rise once again.
By 2009, Delonte West was doing the best that he ever had and set himself a new career high of eight steals in a single game while playing against the Miami Heat.
However, this career high was swiftly followed by the beginning of the end of his career.
While playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, there was a rumor that West had an affair with LeBron James’s mother.
To this day, LeBron James has denied these absurd claims every time the topic is brought up.
However, former basketball player Calvin Murphy claims that the rumor is true.
Murphy claimed that unnamed sources from within the league told him that everyone knew about their relationship, except for him and LeBron James.
LeBron James’s attorney had to get involved and stated that the rumor was “idiotic” and “off the wall”.
Despite their ridiculousness, people began to say that the fake relationship between Delonte West and Gloria James was causing LeBron James to no longer want to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and perform poorly.
The bullying from the whole situation led West to get a lot of negative attention from media outlets, fans, and other members of the NBA.
Although the last season was extremely difficult for West mentally, he did manage to make nearly $10 million dollars during his three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Trouble With The Dallas Mavericks
In 2011, the Dallas Mavericks had picked him up for a one-season contract.
This contract was cut short due to verbal misconduct between Delonte and some of the other players in a locker room altercation.
He was only able to play 33 games before being suspended.
West’s bipolar disorder was becoming more well known due to the increase in his erratic behavior.
In 2012, the Mavericks had won their first NBA championship and were congratulated by a visit to the White House.
West did not attend as his prior arrest related to firearms was a bannable offense by the Secret Service.
The Dallas Mavericks were concerned about the negative influence that Delonte West was having on the younger players.
He was incredibly frustrated that he couldn’t get a contract for longer than a year and that he was already considered a veteran player.
What made being cut from the team even more painful was the fact that Delonte West was getting traded for a fresh, new player who was much younger than him.
West would often go to Twitter to publicly voice his concerns with the Dallas Mavericks’ decision.
Earlier in the season, West had begun to struggle with financial problems because he couldn’t get endorsements like most other basketball players.
His bipolar disorder caused him to make illogical or even erratic decisions, which wasn’t helped by the fact that he had a criminal record.
Delonte West was found sleeping in the locker room when the team would play home games and he would be found sleeping in the players’ garages of the arenas he’d play at while they were away.
Upon hearing this news, Mark Cuban ensured that the player had a safe place to live and attempted to help get his life back on track.
Going From The Major League To The Minor League
Following his release from the Dallas Mavericks, Delonte West went on to play in the NBA’s D-League.
The NBA’s Developmental League, better known as the D-League, is the minor league of basketball that is normally meant to help develop young players, but some players do end up remaining with this league their entire careers.
For West to be placed in this league after spending the entire time after college in the major league was a blow to his self-confidence and self-esteem.
He only ended up playing eight games for the D-League before he began to consider looking to other countries’ basketball leagues.
The biggest problem that teams had with Delonte West was his lack of professionalism.
They knew he was capable of playing just as well as he used to if he could learn how to better handle his bipolar disorder when he was off the court.
In 2013, it was announced that Delonte West would be signing to Fujian Xunxing of China.
Fujian Xunxing of China is similar to the National Basketball Association but doesn’t carry the same level of popularity as the NBA does in the United States.
This decision was met with moderate reception because the NBA could monitor Delonte West’s skills and wellbeing on and off the court.
This gave some of his fans and loved ones some peace of mind, but the idea of sending Delonte West to the other side of the world was worrisome.
Once he landed in China, West ended up signing with the Shanghai Sharks.
Although he had only played four games with the Sharks, they had let him go prematurely in 2014.
Shanghai Sharks owner, Yao Ming stated, “Honestly, we did not expect such a drop in performance.”
This was another nail in the coffin of Delonte West’s career.
Drug Problems Reemerging
By 2016, Delonte West had been without a basketball job for about two years.
He was seen wandering in the parking lot of a fast food place in Houston, Texas.
West didn’t even have shoes and looked in desperate need of help.
When the pictures arose of how Delonte West was looking, people noticed how thin he had gotten and how out of his senses he seemed.
The fan who took the photo with him had asked for clarification of if he was really Delonte West and West responded, “I used to be, but I’m not about that life anymore”.
Within the same year, he was seen panhandling in Maryland.
He claims he was just helping a homeless man who was paralyzed from the neck down.
According to West, he had a home in the neighborhood where he found the paralyzed homeless man.
He apparently parked his car and got out to help the man by panhandling for him instead of having the p man endure the 90-degree heat.
He ended the statement by saying that he felt blessed to have legs.
During the time that West’s drug and mental problems were at their worst, Delonte West had made an Instagram post mocking LeBron James.
As LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the rumors arose again, stemming from an interview with Delonte West because West said that he didn’t want his son to be known for his father’s alleged deeds.
West was also spotted at a youth basketball game acting erratically, which led to people talking about needing more mental health support.
In 2020, West was seen again in another online video where he is seen being beaten in Maryland traffic.
Delonte’s police questioning was released to the public, which revealed that his mental state severely needed professional help.
On The Road To Recovery
As soon as the video of Delonte West appeared on the internet, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, set out immediately to find West.
He had heard that the last known whereabouts of the former basketball player were around I-75 in Dallas, Texas, and drove around to find him.
Where West had last been seen was only two miles from where Cuban lived, and he knew this was a sign that he needed to be the one to help West once again, like he had when West was still playing for his time.
Cuban was able to get ahold of Delonte West’s mother, and she gave him West’s own phone number.
Although it took a few days for Cuban to get a hold of West, he got him to agree to stay where he was so Cuban could come to pick him up.
Cuban continued to help Delonte by giving him a ride to a hotel, renting him a room, feeding him, and talking about ways to help West.
Delonte began attending drug rehab in Florida, completely paid for by Mark Cuban and started to rebuild his life in October 2020.
Delonte West’s recovery has been going incredibly well.
He is even beginning to get back into his athletic form.
In rehab, Delonte has been seen playing basketball, riding horses, and playing disc golf.
As of January 2021, Delonte West now works at the same rehabilitation center that he attended as a patient.
West has been doing incredibly well while at the rehab center, so having a job there makes it easier for him to stay on track and gives him a group of coworkers who understand his needs.
Delonte West has managed to flip the narrative around and serve as a beacon of hope for those struggling with mental health.
Delonte West’s Story Is Far From Over
Despite struggling his entire life, Delonte West has prevailed.
When he was getting bullied for the way he looked, he channeled his energy into basketball.
He chose to focus on the sport he loved and lived by even when the people he played with believed the worst of him.
Through all that West has had to deal with in his life, he has shown perseverance and enough strength to rise, even when the world is beating him down.
Mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, are hard enough to deal with when you live a normal life.
Having the pressure of being in the public eye and having to stay at the peak of your skill in order to keep the job you love would be enough to make some people turn to drugs.
The pressure he was experiencing, the bipolar disorder he lived with, and drug addiction would be more than enough to take down the average person.
However, Delonte West has shown the world that he has the determination to heal.
West doesn’t just stop at healing himself, but rather has decided to make it his career helping other people who are struggling like has in the past.
He wants to help give them the determination and the advice to pull them out of the same pit that he fell into.