A video of what appears to be former NBA player Delonte West yelling incoherently while sitting on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk in handcuffs surfaced online Monday night. It brought calls for prayers and professional help from a former teammate and coach during West's time at Saint Joseph's.
Jameer Nelson, West's teammate at St. Joe's from 2001-04, posted a message on Twitter saying the video made him sick to his stomach and added "all we can do is pray for him and his family and hope that he seeks the proper help." Nelson added that he's tried to reach out to West "over the past several months."
Phil Martelli, who coached both players at St. Joe's, then quote-tweeted Nelson's message and said there's an effort to get West the professional help he needs. Martelli ended his tweet with a solemn, "This is so very painful."
Over the past several hours I have talked with many who are willing to help - please read and embrace Jameer’s wisdom - we are reaching out to our basketball network to get the professional help Delonte needs. This is so very painful. https://t.co/8IAuTdzCc9— Phil Martelli (@PhilMartelli) January 21, 2020
West, Nelson and Martelli were most famously part of Saint Joseph's squads that made consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 2003 and 2004. That 2004 team made it all the way to the Elite Eight before falling to Oklahoma.
TMZ confirmed on Tuesday that West was in fact the man seen in multiple videos circulating on Monday. One is of the former player getting beat up in the street, while the other shows West shirtless and handcuffed on a sidewalk responding with expletives while someone off-camera attempts to ask him what happened -- the latter of the two was more widely shared on social media.
Nelson and Martelli were not the only ones showing support and sympathy for West. Ex-Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, Dallas Wings center Imani McGee-Stafford and former NBA player Jay Williams all had something to say about the video.
I see a lot dumb comments where folks making fun of Delonte west... this is not a joking matter .... I’m going to figure out how I can help him.... he need to be in rehab or something...— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) January 21, 2020
If you applauded Liz, Kevin Love, Demar Derozan, even me, for sharing mental health struggles then you have to extend that same energy to Delonte West in the midst of his struggles.— Imani McGee-Stafford (@imanitrishawn_) January 21, 2020
. @twitter needs to take down that video of #DelonteWest .. people making ignorant comments bc social media makes everyone’s life feel like a video game. This is real life & a real serious issue. It could affect you. Remember the man w/ a family you are commenting on. pic.twitter.com/OGvOleWpSN— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) January 21, 2020