It's been over a decade since Delonte West teamed up with Jameer Nelson to lead St. Joe's on one of the most famous runs to glory in Philadelphia college basketball history. Just under a year ago, West's professional basketball career ended with an injury suffered while playing for the NBDL's Texas Legends.
Indeed, his lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder has been well known to basketball fans nationwide since he first disclosed it in 2009.
There have been times - especially during his stint in Cleveland from 2008 to 2010 - when it seemed that West was on the right track. When the Inquirer's Frank Fitzpatrick caught up with West in May of 2010, West was a key bench player on a Cavaliers squad which held the NBA's best record that season.
Right now, though, West seems headed in the wrong direction.
On Thursday, the Daily Mail - an English tabloid, but one which takes headlines from anywhere it can get them - posted a story on its website revealing that West is being sued by Bank of America over an unpaid credit card debt of nearly $108,000. The same story said West is facing foreclosure on a three-bedroom house in Maryland where his parents live, after falling $44,000 behind on a $450,000 mortgage.
West's older brother Dmitri told the Mail that Delonte "is not crazy, he is not on drugs." But Dmitri acknowledged that Delonte continues to struggle with the worst effects of bipolar disorder.
"My family are trying to get him the best professional help that's out there, the best that they can afford," Dmitri said. "You can't put this down to the basketball or money. He is in a great place, he has a beautiful son, a beautiful daughter and a wife that loves him and gives him tremendous support. But sometimes he has this illness that just comes upon him. This condition is like a cancer - it can affect anyone, rich or poor, regardless of whether you are an NBA player or a football player."
As tough as it has been at times for Dmitri to be optimistic, he told the Mail he's still trying his best.
"[Delonte] is a man facing a big battle, the biggest of his life," he said. "And he's not fighting just for himself, he's fighting for everyone who wants to prove they can overcome this.... Rocky ran harder when he had everyone behind him - and my brother is no different."
A few days before the Mail published that story, TMZ posted a report based on photos taken by a reader who encountered West earlier this month. West was spotted outside a fast food restaurant in Houston, walking around by himself without shoes on. When the fan asked "Are you Delonte West?" the reply came back, "I used to be, but I'm not about that life anymore."
West still has support from across the basketball community - especially St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli. A spokesperson for the Hawks' athletic program said Martelli has been in frequent contact with the West family and the NBA to see how he and the program can help, though he would prefer to keep details of those conversations private.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also reached out to Delonte, telling the Dallas Morning News that his team has "tried to help him so many times, you have no idea."
But it seems that Cuban's patience may have run out, as he added that his former shooting guard has "got to help himself now."