Delonte West doesn’t seem to be adjusting well to life after the NBA.
West is just 32, but he’s been out of the league since 2012 and doesn’t appear any closer to making a comeback.
More troubling, though, are the rumors and reports about him. The latest, from a tipster who talked to TMZ, is that an out-of-it West was spotted shoeless outside a Jack in the Box in Houston and when asked if he was the former NBA guard, replied: "I used to be, but I’m not about that life anymore." (Below Instagram language NSFW.)
A photo posted by PURPLE SPRITE TX, (@shoun_htx) on
It’s just the latest unverified story about West since he bounced out of the league. But how much of it is true and how much is not?
Here’s what we know:
West was waived by the Dallas Mavericks in October 2012 after being suspended twice by the team in 10 days. Since then, he’s had two stints with the Texas Legends in the D-League, played twice in China, signed to play in Venezuela but never did and was on the Clippers’ Summer League team in 2014. He was released by the Legends in April 2015 after suffering a season-ending injury.
Everything since then is less clear.
Several outlets reported that West took a bunch of shots at LeBron James, his old teammate on the Cleveland Cavaliers, on social media in late December and early January. The posts are all deleted along with his Instagram account, however, and according to one report, they were posted by a fake account; the report says this private account likely is West’s real Twitter.
But neither account is verified. And the account that allegedly is fake has posted pics of West and his kids, plus former Cavs teammate Jamario Moon told people to follow it.
That account, whose bio describes West as "the NBA’s red headed step child" and gives his location as "sumwhere i shouldnt be," hasn’t made anything public since December. Posts throughout 2015 include rants about women, a shoe giveaway supposedly by West and video of him practicing his moves, and the feed also includes tweets of encouragement by Moon, who’s also trying to get back to the NBA.
Which leaves this question: If West is OK and not actually doing any of these things, why hasn’t he come forward to set the record straight?
West has done that before. He disputed a diagnosis that he’s bipolar and refuted an infamous rumor that he had a romantic relationship with LeBron’s mom while they were teammates. He also has acknowledged that rumor likely has helped keep him out of the NBA, in this in-depth Slate feature from 2014.
Seems like it’s time for him to speak up again. If not to help his chances of getting back into pro ball, then at least to let people know he’s doing OK without it. Or help his chances of getting help — if he needs it.