The NBA is so much bigger than basketball. I would even argue it’s merely 20% basketball. Regardless of the basketball ratio, it’s a 100% billion dollar brutal business.
Superhuman talent doesn’t necessarily equate to “normal”. We’ve all heard the countless stories of brilliant people being mentally unstable- Albert Einstein, Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, John Keats, Abraham Lincoln- the list goes on. Athletes aren’t exempt from that reality and very few address it publicly like Royce White.
Discounting the athletes with documented mental disorders, the league still isn’t a place to grow and become a man; you MUST either enter the league a self aware man or have a strong, trusted ally who can keep you in line. There really isn’t any room for any errors, even for the greatest athletes in the world.
So now that Delonte West is having these issues with the Dallas Mavericks and is battling a documented mental illness, who’s there to help him? What is being done to “save” him?
Even if that means taking his phone from him so he can’t tweet- shouldn’t someone have the presence of mind to at least do that?
How many people outside of the NBA can really understand the pressures these players are under? Pressures actuated not only by their employers, but from “family”, “friends”, and just plain keeping up with the Joneses?
I think it would get to be too much on the shoulders of anyone, let alone the shoulders of a person with a mental illness.
The biggest question is, now what? Here’s a man who’s blatantly crying out for help. Does that support come from the Mavericks? His family? The entourage? At what point is it no longer ‘fun’ to watch a train wreck?
Hopefully he has someone who is there with him making sure that he- as a person- is ok. I wish him well.