Delonte West has landed a job following his stint in rehab for alcohol and drug abuse. The former Dallas Mavericks point guard will work at the Florida facility where he received treatment.
The Athletic broke the news Tuesday.
This is a phenomenal turnaround for the 37-year-old former first-round draft pick. West struggled with bipolar disorder, substance abuse, and homelessness for years. But the severity of his situation wasn’t well known until someone tweeted a photo of him panhandling on the side of the road was posted on Twitter. West was gaunt and bedraggled — far from the athlete he had previously been.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban saw the photo and reached out to West. The billionaire met with him in a Dallas gas station and talked him into going to rehab. West agreed and has seemingly been improving ever since.
In October, Cuban tweeted out a photo of West at the Florida rehab facility. In under a month, he was putting weight back on and he seemed happy. It was a heartwarming turn in a story that seemed predestined to end in tragedy.
“Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you, Delonte West. A long, long, long way to go, but he has taken the first steps and shared these with all of us as a thank you for the love and support,” Cuban captioned the photo.
Sports Illustrated reported Cuban and West have remained in touch.
The Celtics drafted West in 2004. In his eight years in the league, West also played for the SuperSonics, Cavaliers and Mavericks, where he ended his career in 2012.
He admitted in 2015 that doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder in 2008, TMZ reported.
Cuban has Been One of Delonte West’s Biggest Backers
It’s unclear when Delonte West’s drug addiction began, but he hit bottom quickly after leaving the NBA. The former point guard was seen panhandling and if it weren’t for the intervention of Cuban, West’s story could have had a very dark ending.
The Shark Tank entrepreneur said when he saw the photos of West begging for money on the side of the road, he immediately went out looking for him. It took them a few days for them to connect, but once they did Cuban worked with West’s mom to get him into rehab. Cuban even offered to pay for it, Newsweek reports.
Cuban has offered periodic updates on West’s recovery since West was first admitted in September. West has seemingly done well in treatment. As a matter of fact, he was even spotted practicing his jump shot in November.