There is Brain Type, and there is brain health. One is as crucial as the other when it comes to sports (and life), so when we find an athlete who has an optimal, innate brain design for the job, but his or her neurons are questionable, we hesitate, to say the very least.

A young man by the name of Delonte West came into the league over a decade ago, but even before he did, Jon Niednagel knew his Brain Type (at the behest of the NBA team he consulted). Delonte was a Michael Jordan. That is, while he didn’t approach MJ’s height, athleticism, skill, discipline, or talent, he was a #6 BEIR, and he had upside. He had potential especially if developed properly, and, certain cognitive aspects could be enhanced. Mr. West also had an atypical upbringing which would be benefited by regular encouragement and counsel from his closest NBA comrades and mentors. (In 2015 he talked with a reporter “about a childhood littered with mental health issues, including stints in children’s hospitals after he swallowed pills and began cutting himself.”)

It took a while before he got an opportunity to play regularly in the NBA, but when he finally did, he surprised many onlookers. Not only did his skills impress, but his tenacity and toughness put trepidation into his on-court opponents. Unfortunately, as he found greater success and increased paychecks, his private life became more disrupted; he lost focus of what had created his NBA ascension.

We now jump to 2016, and photos have recently surfaced showing Delonte “wandering around shoeless in a hospital gown outside a Houston-area Jack in the Box.”  A fan noticed Mr. West, and reportedly asked Are you Delonte West? to which he responded, I used to be, but I’m not about that life anymore. West’s career spanned eight seasons, earning him $16 million “which he reportedly no longer has.”

Our heart goes out to Delonte.

Written by: Staff
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