It normally takes the entire UN translating staff to understand Delonte West’s tweets. Most of them are a combination of gibberish, ebonics and misspelled words. For example: “U in d city tonight….if u see matt grey street glider…with black ape hangers 21 inch blackspokess…..tail pipes dragginn.” If you know what that means, I’m not sure whether that means you’re a lot more intelligent than I am, or a lot less.
But the past two days, Delonte West tweeted some realities of NBA lockout life.
Full disclosure: I have no idea whether West is serious, ever. He got a job moving furniture earlier in the lockout, claiming he needed the money. But I have no clue whether he was serious about needing money. He’s just a quirky dude. It’s entirely possible he got that job as a joke, or he signed some secretive endorsement deal with Regency Furniture where he pretended to work there.
But he’s tweeting realities, even if they aren’t his own realities. I know NBA players made an average of $5 million last season. I know nobody making $15 per hour moving boxes in a warehouse feels bad because 450 millionaires missed paychecks yesterday. But when somebody like Delonte West has a $1.4 million salary, like he did last year, he often also has $1.4 million bills. A lot of these players live lavish lifestyles, sometimes far beyond their means. Within five years of retirement, 60% of NBA players are broke.
I’m not saying you should feel bad for them. If Delonte West can’t take care of his dependents after making $1.4 million last season, that’s entirely his fault. But missing paychecks hits players harder than it probably should.