Basketball players must really be hurting due to the NBA lockout. While many of them are heading overseas to earn supplemental income, there are a few who are stuck in the States trying to figure out what they can do next to make some extra money.
Delonte West, who played as a guard for the Boston Celtics last season, is one of these individuals. West, who has been in trouble with the law and is not allowed to travel outside of the country, recently tweeted that he was in such dire straits that he had to apply for an entry-level job at the Home Depot.
“Pride 2 the side…just filled out a application at Home Depot.. Lockout aint a game..,” he wrote. He later posted the following comment as to why he had to resort to such drastic measures. “Can’t even go get that over seas money.. Judge said it’s a no go on leaving the country…”
Even though he made $14 million in his last seven years, the troubled player apparently didn’t save too much of it, and now he is left with limited options because of his legal woes. While some question whether this is a publicity stunt or an accurate statement, it just may well be that West has indeed fallen on hard times, and that he could be the first of many NBA players who will to have to seek alternate employment in the coming months because of the lockout.
Though making a $2 million annual salary would allow many people to live comfortably for quite some time, this may not be the case for West, and it has left some questioning how someone can go through that much money in such a short period of time. The reasons are yet to be determined, but many speculate that his legal troubles and his erratic behavior and possibly extravagant spending may be to blame.
Many consider West as a decent player on the court, but it is his questionable behavior off the court that has made headlines and has led some to wonder about his future with the NBA. Last year, rumors flew about his alleged affair with then-teammate Lebron James’ mom, and while no proof ever surfaced, Basketball Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy told Houston ESPN Radio that the gossip “was absolutely true.” There were even some individuals who believed that this one of the major causes that led to James’ exodus from Cleveland.
In 2009, West was arrested in Maryland for carrying two handguns and a Remington 870 shotgun (both unloaded) and a 8.5-inch Bowie style knife without permits, all while riding a three-wheeler. Police also found shotguns shells in a backpack he was carrying and in a sidesaddle carrier on the motorbike.
In addition to the weapons charges, he was indicted on one count of reckless driving and one count of negligent driving for cutting a police officer off while going at a high rate of speed. All of this took place around 10 p.m. and West did not provide any details on where he was traveling to that night. West avoided jail time after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor weapons charges and a traffic charge.
The troubled basketball star was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers at that time, and his former coach stood by him during the entirety of the case.
“Just from being a human being standpoint, you don’t want anybody to have any type of setback, whether it’s this or anything else,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “He’s a good guy. We hope everything turns out perfect for him. But it’s part of life and part of the process. You just keep taking it one day at a time.”West, who suffers from bipolar disorder and is on medication, took time off from training camp in 2008 to seek treatment for his condition. According to Kenneth Robbins, M.D., clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, people who suffer from bipolar disorder sometimes experience “manic episodes in which their thoughts are racing out of control and they take risks they normally wouldn’t.”
Robbins, who has never treated West, spoke to MSN.com and told them that this may be the case with the NBA player. The website bipolar-lives.com claims that “one of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder is impulsive and irrational spending,” which also could have led to West’s money troubles.
Earlier this month, the NBA athlete tweeted a message that may illustrate just how dire his situation really is. “Broke down in the ATM line.. 25 cars behind me and I already reached my daily limit… I’m broke n my cars broke.. Where’s my therapist???”
West isn’t the only athlete who has been accused of living beyond their means. Mike Tyson, who has earned an estimated $300-$400 million throughout his lifetime, was worth less than $700 at his lowest point.
Boston Celtics player Antoine Walker made more than $110 million over the course of his 12-year career, and despite being on the “NBA Live 99” cover, he found himself in $4 million of unpaid debt, and is currently facing felony check fraud charges in Las Vegas.
Latrell Sprewell, who made $50 million throughout his career, chose not extend his contract with the Timberwolves because $21 million was too low, and three years later, he lost his home to foreclosure, and defaulted on another home loan worth $10 million.
With the basketball season in limbo, there may be many more NBA players who fall victims to the “lockout” curse, and the hope is that a deal or an agreement that benefits all mutual parties will be made in order to bail these unemployed athletes out of fiscal troubles.
And while there is no word yet as to whether West has the qualifications necessary to work at the Home Depot or if he will even be called in for an interview, the good news is that the 27-year-old has plenty of time left to turn his life and financial situation around.