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A friend of homeless former millionaire NBA star Delonte West has warned the addict is "paranoid" and needs professional help.
The shocking revelations emerged after Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, offered to pay rehab fees for West, who earned a salary of £1million-a-year at the height of his career.
Lenora 'Quinn' Cole has been trying to help get for ex-NBA player Delonte's drug and alcohol addiction since April.
She revealed West is addicted to embalming fluids and alcohol, but says the troubled star "trusts no one."
A distressing photograph appeared on social media last week showing West, 37, standing in the rain on the side of a street in Dallas, Texas, USA, holding up a sign asking for help.
Mum-of-one Quinn, 50, said she first noticed the former Mavericks player begging for money outside a Kroger store in Las Colinas, Texas, six months ago.
Quinn, of Irving, Texas, said: "He's a sweet and humble person. He's not violent or aggressive at all, ever.
"He has a good heart and a good sense of humor. He's just addicted to embalming fluid and alcohol.
"It's really sad. I was trying to get him help, but he was really paranoid. He didn't seem to trust anyone but me.
"It was really hard to convince him that he needed to accept professional help and go into rehab."
Quinn said she's been praying that someone would come forward and help West and is "so thankful" that Mark Cuban has stepped up.
West, who earned more than £13million over his ten year career in salary alone before sponsorship deals, had previously revealed that he suffered from bipolar disorder.
Quinn, who works for a school bus service, says she has been helping the former star by paying for his basic necessities since April.
"I pay his phone bill and try to make sure he's safe as best I can. I don't earn much, but I don't drink or smoke, so I can afford to give him a little bit of money.
"He's in a really bad place right now, but I think he's finally ready to accept some help to get sober and get his life back on track."
West stopped playing in the NBA in 2015 and his life went downhill due to addictions.
He was spotted wandering around Houston in 2016, apparently homeless and in January 2020, he was recorded getting beaten up on a highway in Washington DC.
Quinn said West usually stayed in Camp City, or under a bridge in Dallas, which is a known hub for homeless people.
She said: "I know he's been dipping his cigarettes in embalming fluid, they call it 'smoking wet'."
Quinn became close with the former Mavericks star after she spotted him begging for money outside a Kroger store in Las Colinas, Texas.
"I was driving by Kroger one day and I saw him. I was like 'hey, I think that's Delonte West'.
"I gave him some money and my number and told him to call me if he needed anything.
"That was about six months ago. We've been friends ever since.
"He's in a really bad place right now, but I think he's finally ready to accept some help to get sober and get his life back on track.
"He calls me all the time and we meet up a few times a week and talk.
"I'll usually give him some money and make him eat something, or I'll take him to my house so he can have a shower and a sleep in a comfortable place.
"Sometimes I'll braid his hair and wash his clothes, or buy new clothes for him.
"I'm always like, 'Delonte what are you doing that for? It's such a waste of your life.
"He knows I'm right, but I don't think he knows how to stop. He needs professional help.
"Now he's going to be in safe hands, I hope. He's bipolar and those type of drugs with his condition, it's really bad.
"He's had mental health problems. He got tired of being in the spotlight. It broke him down.
"I know he takes drugs and he drinks alcohol, but everyone deserves a new start in life.
"I have a past too. I used to drink myself, but I've been sober for 20 years now, if I can do it so can he.
"I really believe he can do it. He just needs some extra support. He's lost right now, and in a really bad place. He needs someone in his corner.
"I think I was the only sober friend that he had for a long time. But it was taking a lot out of me to help him on my own.
"I'm so thankful that Mark stepped in to help him get what he needs.
"This is exactly what I was praying for. I love Delonte like a little brother, he's a good person. I really think this will be a turning point for him."