Two former members of the Saint Joseph’s basketball program issued concerned statements Monday night after a video surfaced on social media of what appears to be Delonte West, a former St. Joe’s and NBA player, rambling and sitting on the side of the street while in handcuffs.
Phil Martelli, who coached West for three seasons at Saint Joseph’s, said on Twitter the video is “very painful” and that he is seeking to get West help. He quote-tweeted a Twitter post from Jameer Nelson, who was teammates with West from 2001-04 in college.
The video shows what appears to be a shirtless West with his hands behind his back on a sidewalk being asked by a person off camera about an altercation. The person asked West: “Why did you hit him? Did he attack you first in self-defense or did you hit him?”
The former NBA player said he was walking down the street when he was approached by a man with a gun. West then went on an incomprehensible rant. (Here is link to the video, which contains vulgar and inappropriate language.)
West was part of the Saint Joseph’s team — along with Martelli and Nelson — that reached back-to-back NCAA tournaments in 2003 and 2004. The 2003-04 team went undefeated in the regular season and lost to Oklahoma State in the Elite 8.
He played for four teams in the NBA from 2004-12 after being the 24th overall pick by the Boston Celtics. He teamed up with LeBron James in Cleveland from 2007-2010 before James left to join the Miami Heat.
West has discussed his issues with mental health in the past. He has had incidents in the NBA before as well, once no-showing to a D-league team in 2013 after being suspended twice for conduct detrimental to the team and then ultimately being waived by the Mavericks.
He was also suspended by the NBA for 10 games in 2010 after pleading guilty to gun charges in Maryland.