Danny Ainge confirmed a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania that the Boston Celtics general manager was one of a few high-ranking officials from the league who tried to help Delonte West in wake of his personal struggles after leaving the NBA. "Delonte has worked for us for a couple of years at times doing some college scouting in the (Washington) D.C. and Philly area," Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich Thursday, per NBC Sports Boston.
Ainge's connection with West started to take shape after the Saint Joseph's product was drafted by the Celtics in 2004. Delonte played four seasons with Boston before he left, only to come back to the team for a brief second stint. After he was waived by the Dallas Mavericks in 2012, West spent three years trying to crack it on the international scene before returning stateside.
After Delonte stopped playing professional basketball, Ainge reportedly approached him about a scouting opportunity that yielded "mixed results," in part because of his "fluctuating attendance." Despite his rumored poor job performance, Ainge didn't want to get into those matters given his personal struggles. "He's taken advantage of them," he said. "I just think there's a lot going on in his life. It's very complicated, and I don't really want to get into any of that. He accepted the job opportunities."
West recalls first being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008 after an outburst with a referee during a preseason game. People grew increasingly concerned for Delonte's mental health in 2016 when he exhibited some erratic behavior, and appeared to be homeless. While he has disputed those reports, it didn't stop a number of people from his past, Ainge included, to check in on him.
"Delonte has obviously some troubles and some trials that he's trying to deal with in his life, and I just hope that he can fix his life and get back on a good path," Ainge said of West, who claimed to have "periodically" checked in on him since his basketball career ended. On Monday, a clip of West surfaced showing him in a bad state as he sat on a sidewalk in Washington D.C. handcuffs. The NBA is reportedly "offering to support" him and his family.