Delonte West left the team earlier this month to attend to personal issues. Today, he opened up to the media and spoke quietly about his mood disorder that prompted him to seek help.
“Before you can help out a team or an organization, you’ve got to be able to help yourself first so you can give your undivided attention to the job at hand,” West said softly. “I removed myself from the team so I could get myself together so I could not be a distraction to the team and what we’re trying to accomplish here.”
“For a while you feel like a weaker man because you’ve got to raise your hand and ask for help. But I found out over the last week that made me a stronger person.”
Earlier this month during a scrimmage at the Cavs’ training facility, West took out his frustrations toward a high school referee. He was troubled by his behavior and decided to go back to his home in the Washington DC area to seek help.
Depression has troubled him since his childhood. He has always been able to find peace in the gym, but he has struggled with relationships away from the floor. “It’s been haunting me my whole life, self-destructive behavior. Everything is going good for me — being on a great team where anything less than a championship is unacceptable this year, getting a new contract, being in a good situation, When everything is on the upside, I’m feeling the worst.
“I’ve had a history of doing that in the past, where I’ve quit teams or sabotaged my own success. At this juncture in my life, I don’t want to keep doing that. I want to enjoy being in the NBA. I want to enjoy being successful. I want to enjoy my life.”