Delonte West’s world of paranoia and addiction before help finally came

A friend of Delonte West showed an unsettling glimpse into the life of the former NBA guard days before he entered rehab in Florida.

Lenora “Quinn” Cole shared video of time she had spent with West. Cole says she has been trying to help West for six months since she met him begging for money outside a Kroger store in Las Colinas, Texas. 

“He’s a sweet and humble person, he’s not violent or aggressive at all, ever,” she said. “He has a good heart and a good sense of humor, he’s just addicted to embalming fluid and alcohol. It’s really sad.

“I was trying to get him help, but he was really paranoid, he didn’t seem to trust anyone but me. It was really hard to convince him that he needed to accept professional help and go into rehab.”

That help now appears to have come. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stepped in after another disturbing photo of the 37-year-old West emerged last week in Dallas. The Athletic reported that Cuban spoke with West’s mother, Delphina Addison, and he arranged to meet West at a gas station. Cuban took West to Addison at a hotel and he entered a rehab facility in Florida.

West had been public about battling bipolar disorder since his time as a player with the Celtics, Sonics, Cavaliers and Mavericks. The guard ended his NBA career with Dallas in 2015.

“I pay his phone bill and try to make sure he’s safe as best I can, I don’t earn much, but I don’t drink or smoke, so I can afford to give him a little bit of money,” said Cole, who works for a school bus service.

“He’s in a really bad place right now but I think he’s finally ready to accept some help to get sober and get his life back on track.”

Concern for West grew through the years after reports surfaced of him looking disheveled in Houston in 2016. Then in January of this year, a video of him getting beaten up in Washington, DC, went public.

The NBA community, including his former St. Joseph’s teammate Jameer Nelson, voiced concern and their desire to help him.

Now, it has come.

“I’m so thankful that Mark stepped in to help him get what he needs,” Cole said. “This is exactly what I was praying for. I love Delonte like a little brother, he’s a good person. I really think this will be a turning point for him.”

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