TMZ- It's actually a sad story ... the person who shot the photo is a huge basketball fan and said they noticed the former 1st round draft pick wandering around outside of a Jack in the Box around 10 PM all by himself with no shoes.
When the fan approached him and asked, "Are you Delonte West?" -- he replied, "I used to be but I'm not about that life anymore."
We tried contacting West to find out if he's okay -- and even reached out to his old agent -- but we couldn't get in touch with him.
The craziest part of this story isn't even that the NBA player formerly known as Delonte West is aimlessly wandering around a 'Jack In The Box' by himself. Maybe I couldn't have predicted that's where he was at the time, but it certainly doesn't surprise me. Fucking the mother of the best player in basketball when your profession is basketball is one of those terrible decisions that leads to a long line of terrible decisions. I didn't know that by the time he got to the end of that line he would be barefoot in the parking lot of a fast food joint, but I knew he wasn't exactly going to be walking off into the sunset. So yeah, It's shocking to see him looking like he just meandered off the set as an extra in 'Breaking Bad', but not nearly as shocking as someone choosing to go up to him for a picture while he does.
I don't care how big of a basketball fan you are. I have a strict rule that if someone isn't wearing shoes then they probably aren't safe to approach. If the homeless man that used to be Delonte West was capable of opening his eyes this guy would probably no longer have a wallet, keys, or cell phone. He's honestly lucky he caught him at the tail-end of his high, because I would bet dollars to donuts the man he just took a picture with is carrying at least one form of a shiv. There's a big difference between asking an ex-NBA player to pose for a picture and asking a disgraced ex-NBA player -that would rather be known as a streetwalking bum- to pose for a picture.
P.S. Not the worst move for Delonte West to completely disassociate with himself. Just trying to live through his down years incognito, and pick up his birth name again on the other side of them. It's not going to work, but I can at least appreciate the attempt.