The NBA community welcomed the week with a shocking development involving one of its most notable basketball stars. Delonte West, a former Boston Celtics player, was photographed roaming around the streets barefoot. The 32-year-old ex NBA star appeared to be incoherent and at a loss for words when some fans attempted to interact with him.
West was spotted outside a Jack In The Box joint in Houston at around 10:00 at night. Wandering around the area without his shoes, the 2004 first-round pick of the Isaiah Thomas squad was seen by an NBA fan who immediately recognized the star. The fan then went on to approach West to confirm his identity. While the ex-member of the Marcus Smart squad admitted that he is indeed the former NBA star, he clarified that he is no longer part of such "life" these days.
"Are you Delonte West?" asked the NBA fan to the shoeless man he spotted in Houston, according to TMZ Sports. The former NBA star responded, "I used to be but I'm not about that life anymore." The fan then snapped a photo alongside West, with the latter barely having the energy to keep his eyes open.
West is widely known as one of the best guards in the NBA. Drafted as the 24th overall pick by the Boston Celtics, he left the team in 2007 when Rajon Rondo started to emerge as a more stable member of the roster. He was then traded to the Seattle SuperSonics where he only stayed for a year before getting transferred to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the departure of LeBron James from the team in 2010 prompted the Kyrie Irving squad to trade West to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He later on went full circle when he was once again signed by the Boston Celtics where he served as backup for now Sacramento Kings star Rondo.
Despite his talent, Sports Day reports that West had been thrown at the center of various controversies. In 2009, he revealed that he is struggling with bipolar disorder. During his stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers, West was also rumored to have had an affair with the mother of James - Gloria James. He repeatedly denied the rumor but the news spread like wildfire online. Apart from these, West was also arrested for carrying weapons while riding his motorcycle. These issues then made him an easy mark for comedians to use as material for their jokes as well as for artists to rap and sing about.
"My sanctuary, my place of peace, became the joke of my life," said West of the way his life turned out, according to Sports Day. He added, "Right now I'm just a guy who's trying to stop getting laughed at."