The story of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban finding former player Delonte West, and picking him up at a gas station in order to arrange for him to go to rehab, is a great story. I have nothing but respect for Cuban for going out of this way to help a former player, and I hope West can find a way to overcome his Bipolar Disorder without self-medicating. There have been too many sad stories about what has happened to him since leaving the NBA, so it feels good that, maybe, there’s now some hope for him.
On the other hand, this shouldn’t be what it takes to get addiction and mental health treatment.
It shouldn’t require being a former NBA star with a connection to a billionaire owner to get help. Good for them for making this happen, but what do all the people living on the streets with serious mental illness who aren’t former professional athletes get? Where do they go? Who is finding them and taking them to rehab instead of jail? Why isn’t there a resource that doesn’t require this level of intervention?
Because we just don’t care enough to do it.