Sunday, August 28, 2011

Delonte West is seeking out a hardware store job to outlast the lockout

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Delonte West apparently wants to work at Home Depot during the NBA's current lockout. And whether this is a Twitter joke or a legitimate attempt to build up his bankroll one hour at a time, can you blame the guy?

The history of NBA players taking a gig on the side is long and unheralded. Some choose sneaker endorsements, because the sneaker companies choose them. Some, before the NBA really got off the ground, chose selling insurance in the 1950s and 1960s during the offseason. Former scrub Reggie Harding (who famously yelled "come on, man. It ain't me!" when a liquor store clerk recognized his 7-foot frame) held up businesses with a gun and a ski mask. On the flip side, Mark West became a licensed broker years before his NBA career ended.

Then there's Ron Artest, who famously applied for a summertime gig at Circuit City -- back when there was a Circuit City -- to take in the company's 15 percent employee discount. The Bulls quickly put the kibosh on that second job attempt once they found out what was going on.

West? A free agent in a lockout that possibly might not end for another 14 months? This might run a little deeper. Via his Twitter account.

Delonte swears he's on the up and up about working at Home Depot:

And that the reason he has to stay stateside as opposed to working overseas during the lockout has to do with his past legal woes:

It's possible that West could be unhappy for reasons that are out of control, namely his bipolar diagnosis from two years ago that has at the very least shined a little light on why West sometimes acts a bit mercurial. At best, he reminds of former Spurs forward Malik Rose, who moved back in with his parents during the 1998 lockout, famously sleeping in bed sheets adorned with cartoon characters, only to spring out long enough to help his squad win the championship in June of 1999.

West made over a million dollars last year working for the Celtics, and he's made well over $14 million since joining the NBA in 2004. The guy should have a nest egg, there's no doubt, but he's also dealing with chemical imbalances that could either make his online fulminations worrisome (West might be out of money) or understandable (he could be sitting on a mountain of cash, and just working through some embarrassment over the lockout publicly).

Either way, let's slow down a bit before we cackle away at a guy either trying to set up a legitimate offseason gig, or someone who might be working through his ups and downs online.

Also, Delonte? We need a new air filter for our furnace. I write about the NBA -- could you work up a 15 percent discount for me?

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