The 62-year-old lost no time in tracking down the former professional basketball player. This is not the first time he offered support to Delonte West.
Last week, a heartbreaking photo of former NBA star Delonte West went viral on social media. Standing on the side of a road near a Dallas highway, the 37-year-old was dressed in a white sweater, baggy gray sweatpants, and slip-on loafers covered in dirt. He was clearly in rough shape. The image showed him holding a small cardboard sign on a rainy day and seemingly asking for help. Calls for action immediately took off on social media as netizens wondered how the former NBA point guard had come upon such hard times.
Delonte west really out here in north dallas smh pic.twitter.com/9SxZzIO5AP— 🇯🇵 (@CallTcooks) September 22, 2020
Among those seeking to help West was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The 62-year-old lost no time in tracking down the former professional basketball player and according to TMZ Sports, personally picked West up from a gas station on Monday. Sources connected to the sportsman's family told the publication that Cuban spent days trying to get in touch with West before contacting him and getting him to agree to meet at a gas station in north Dallas. "I can just confirm that I found him and helped him," Cuban told The Washington Post in an email late Monday. "The rest is up to Delonte and his family to tell."
Mark Cuban steps in & helps Delonte West in Dallas pic.twitter.com/4S10zvrWzl— 2Cool2Blog (@2Cool2BIog) September 29, 2020
In a Snapchat video currently making the rounds of the internet, West can reportedly be seen waiting inside the gas station's convenience store while a second video captured Cuban picking him up in his blue Tesla Model S. "Good job, man," the man recording the video can be heard telling the businessman. Cuban then took West to a local hotel and has even offered to pay for his treatment at a drug rehabilitation facility, said sources. Although he was previously opposed to the idea, West is now said to more willing to give it a shot.
I'm told that thanks to @mcuban efforts yesterday, Delonte West is now in a drug and rehabilitation facility. Cuban picked West up at a gas station in Dallas yesterday and told West's family that he would pay for West's rehab.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) September 29, 2020
A Delonte West update, as people close to the ex-NBA player going through very difficult personal struggle continue to offer help: Sources say Mavs owner Mark Cuban reunited West with his mother in Dallas on Monday — and now West has checked into rehab facility in Florida.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 29, 2020
Born in July 1983 in DC, West has struggled for years with bipolar disorder. The 6-foot-4 player burst onto the local basketball scene at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland, and was named as The Washington Post's Boys Player of the Year as a senior. He helped lead a team that finished the regular season a perfect 27-0 at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia before their loss in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. West went on to play eight seasons in the NBA after being drafted in the first round by the Boston Celtics in 2004.
A viral photo showed former NBA star Delonte West homeless. Mark Cuban found him and picked him up. https://t.co/YCFLUvfXNj— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 29, 2020
His struggle with mental illness has been documented for years. In 2015, he opened up to The Post's Rick Maese about the rise and fall of his career, revealing that he had suicidal tendencies as a teenager. "He's trying to explain his mental state and goes back to his childhood growing up in Prince George’s County. He had light skin and red hair and was an easy target for grade-school taunts. For years all he could hear was the sound of other kids laughing at him," wrote Maese. "'I've never shared this like this but I used to try to kill myself all the time. I took all that and put everything into basketball," [West] said. "You can't laugh at this on the court.'"
West publicly disclosed his bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2008 while playing in Cleveland. He pleaded guilty to weapons charges the following year after police found three loaded guns in his motorcycle during a traffic stop. Although he managed to avoid jail time, he was sentenced to eight months of home detention. West’s life quickly spiraled out of control after his NBA career came to an end and he was photographed walking around Houston without any shoes not long after. Cuban had attempted to help West — who played his final NBA season for the Mavericks in 2012 — once before when he helped connect him with a financial adviser around 2014. Unfortunately, his efforts to keep West off the street were unsuccessful.