Former NBA guard Delonte West has had one heck of a journey. After a modest 8-year career (that included being teammates with LeBron James), the guy fell off the face of the earth for a while before resurfacing in the streets as a victim of mental illness.
Over the past few years, his life has had plenty of ups and downs, from being homeless to receiving some help from some of the NBA's biggest names.
Now, he's back in the streets again and going viral for a recent encounter he had with a young fan in Virginia. Here's the clip of how it went down:
On the surface, the scene can be described as wholesome as West detailed his past life and gave some encouragement to the kid and his family. But when you think about it, it's yet another sad reminder of just how far the guy has fallen.
Somehow, through it all, he has shown astounding levels of positivity.
“Sometimes I forget I even played basketball," West said during a different encounter. "You know what? God knows what he’s doing. So it’s like if anything had happened differently, then me and you wouldn’t be sitting here talking… I’m clear, I don’t want to boogaloo. Bootyslam, you know what I’m saying? Yeah, let the legend of sweat pants begin.”
For the fans and analysts, we get so busy keeping up with what's happening for today's players that we forget what life can be like for some of these guys after their career ends.
For the superstars who make tens of millions, it's a lot harder to land in a tough situation. For role players like West, however, it's easier than you think for them to lose the financial security that the NBA once provided them.
That's the situation West finds himself in now, but it's not too late for him (or any other ex-NBA player struggling with money) to get back on his feet and get his situation back on track.