What happened to Delonte West's money? Embalming fluid addiction and NBA career earnings explored

Delonte West playing for the Dallas Mavericks
Delonte West money and career earnings

Delonte West's story is one of the saddest in the NBA over the past decade. West had a promising start to his career with the Boston Celtics and earned roughly $16.4 million in his eight years in the league.

However, West was seen begging for money just a year after retiring from basketball in 2015. He has been photographed in such situations a few more times over the years as he battles addiction and bipolar disorder.

When West signed for the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, he had already blown all of his money and was homeless. A messy divorce, bad representation and unnecessary expenses are some of the reasons why he has no money left.


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Delonte West had an embalming fluid addiction

Delonte West playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers
Delonte West playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers

When Delonte West was caught on camera begging on the streets of Dallas, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban helped him get into rehab. Cuban paid for his treatment and he seemed to be doing well until he was seen panhandling again last year in Virginia.

But before West got the help he needed, he had an addiction to embalming fluid. West's friend, Lenora Cole, told The Daily Mail that West was suffering from paranoia in addition to bipolar disorder. West apparently used to dip cigarettes or joints in embalming fluid before smoking. This caused hallucinations.

"He has a good heart and a good sense of humor," Cole said. "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."

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Delonte West still struggling with addiction

Delonte West playing for the Dallas Mavericks
Delonte West playing for the Dallas Mavericks

Delonte West seemed to have restarted his life after receiving help from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. West had a successful rehab stint in 2021 and was even given a tryout by Ice Cube's BIG3 in March last year.

However, West went undrafted and returned to his old habits a few months later. He was photographed begging in July and was arrested in Fairfax, Virginia, in October for trying to enter a car he didn't own. He was booked on four misdemeanor charges.

Prior to his latest arrest, Cuban was asked by TMZ Sports about West's recovery. He revealed that his former player continues to struggle with addiction and mental illness. He also noted that West needs to realize that he needs help.

"It's a struggle for him," Cuban said. "I mean, addiction is awful and mental illness is awful. He's at the point in his life where he's got to want to be helped."

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