Troubled former NBA guard Delonte West was met at a Texas gas station by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in the latest attempt to help the 37-year-old, who has battled bipolar disorder and a reported drug problem.
According to TMZ, Cuban had been trying to reach West for days after a photograph of him begging on the streets of Dallas went viral last week. Ultimately the billionaire was able to get in touch with West, who agreed to meet.
Cuban reportedly took West to a local hotel. The plan, according to TMZ, is to get West into a drug treatment facility, which Cuban has offered to pay for.
Cuban confirmed the meeting to ESPN, which referred to West as ‘homeless.’
In what has become a sadly regular occurrence for West, video of the encounter went viral, with fans and friends pleading on social media for the former St. Joseph’s star to get help.
Video of West being pummeled on a Maryland highway went viral in January.
West, who previously revealed that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008, is not seen fighting back in the footage. Rather, the 6-foot-4 Washington D.C. native appears to be incapacitated as his assailant stomps on his motionless body.
Price George’s County (Maryland) Police did arrive on the scene, which is why West is seen handcuffed in one of the videos. According to police, a female witness claimed the fight began when one man hit the other with a bottle. The other man allegedly responded by repeatedly hitting the first man, presumably West.
Both men refused medical assistance and declined to press charges. Neither were publicly identified by police, but West is seen rambling incoherently about the incident in a second video, which was recorded by police.
The men were known to each other, according to the police statement.
West’s former Saint Joseph’s University teammate, ex-NBA star Jameer Nelson, and their one-time coach Phil Martelli expressed their concern on social media after the videos went viral.
‘I’m sick today,’ Nelson wrote. ‘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.
‘Yes, I’ve spoken to him Over the past several months, just trying to be there for him as a friend.’
Nelson ended his statement by pleading for everyone to be respectful.
‘And please be mindful, when you posting vdeos or pictures of somebody,’ he wrote. ‘You may think your (sic) helping but you might be hurting them even more. People have kids and their kids don’t deserve to be embarrassed. Please Pray!’
Martelli, now an assistant coach at Michigan, responded to Nelson’s statement on Twitter: ‘Over the past several hours I have talked with many who are willing to help – please read and embrace Jameer’s wisdom – we are reaching out to our basketball network to get the professional help Delonte needs. This is so very painful.’
West first made headlines along with Nelson and Martelli on a Saint Joseph’s team that went 27-0 in the 2004 regular season and earned a top seed for the NCAA tournament before losing to Oklahoma State in the Elite 8.
He was then drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft and eventually became a starter alongside LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008.
West continued to bounce around the NBA after that, playing in the D-League and even signing in China, but mental health issues began to overshadow his career.
In 2009 he was pulled over riding a three-wheeled motorcycle, leading police to discover three firearms strapped to his body. He ultimately pleaded guilty to weapon charges and was ordered to undergo psychological counseling, in addition to probation and community service.
In 2016 a photo emerged of him panhandling in suburban Washington D.C., but it was never proven that he was actually homeless at the time.
According to Complex Sports, West was seen wandering around Houston without shoes four years ago.
West earned over $16 million during his nine-year career, according to HoopsHype.com.