This photo of a person is not Delonte West. It is a photo of Delonte West losing himself, and it isn’t funny or sad; it’s the direct reflection of mental illness left untreated. It’s difficult to go from being an adored player on star teams to a different phase of life, but for West, the work will always be twofold: to keep his mental health managed and to make sure he commits to that process so that he doesn’t lose himself.


And that can’t happen alone. He’s going to need help, and my hope is that he hasn’t gone too far to be found. 

Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is associate editor of news at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.