Monday, February 27, 2012 8:33 am
Jeremy Lin's sleeping on his brother's sofa doesn't sound nearly as bad after hearing about one veteran player's housing nightmare. Delonte West is quite possibly the first active NBA player to be without a home during a season. The Mavericks guard tells the Dallas Morning News that after arriving in the Lone Star State he couldn't find a place to stay, so he spent nights sleeping in the Mavs locker room and even in his car.
Let us explain.
West suffers from bipolar disorder, which causes extreme mood swings. In 2009, he was pulled over near his Maryland home on a three-wheeled Cam-Am Spyder motorcycle, and police found a 9mm Beretta pistol, .357 Magnum and a Remington 870 in a guitar case. West pleaded guilty to weapons and traffic charges, but was able to avoid jail; instead he got electronic monitoring and supervised probation and counseling.
Additionally, West was dealing with the end of his four-month marriage. He feels his mental disorder is at least partially responsible for both his personal and legal problems. "I've watched contracts go out the window, endorsements disappear, court fees, lawyer fees, divorce fees," he told the Morning News. "You watch the saving account just shoop ... shoop ... shoop ... shoop -- slowly disappear."
West had to sell vehicles, jewelry and "just about everything I own, except for my house and the clothes on my back," he told the Dallas Morning News.
After joining the Mavericks, the team gave him a hotel room during a very brief training camp. However, once the regular season got started, NBA salary cap rules blocked the team from providing housing for West. He said he tried to rent apartments around North Texas but failed, because they were either too expensive or he wasn't allowed because of his legal troubles.
So West would get a hotel room when the Mavericks were on the road, but when they came back to Dallas late after road trips, he had no place to stay. So rather than getting a hotel room for just a few hours, he would sleep in the American Airlines Center locker room area or park his truck in the arena players garage and rest.
West told the Morning News his outrageous living situation didn't last long after his boss found out about it. "Soon as Mr. Cuban heard about that, he made one phone call and everybody was lining up to rent me an apartment," West laughed. "They were calling back saying, 'Hey, we've got the penthouse suite for you.'"
The Mavericks are paying West $854,389 this season, while three therapists help him deal with his bipolar disorder.
West also wants to finally end vicious rumors that he had a sexual relationship with Cavs teammate LeBron James' mom, Gloria during the 2010 postseason. "It's affected me," West told the Morning News. "Everywhere I go, first question, 'Don't tell me you did that.'
"If we want to continue to grow as a human race, what are we teaching our kids if we try to make humor and fun out of stuff like that?” West said of the rumor. "Number one, something like that never happened. I don’t know where they got that from. For a strong black woman like that, for people to try to tear her down, that’s terrible. That’s terrible in so many ways."
On the court, West is averaging 8.3 points, 3.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 29 game for Dallas.