– I think it’s the hardest part of an athlete that has to develop, because you have extraordinary skills, and that be that either to shoot a basketball, dribble a basketball, rebound the basketball. You have tremendous athleticism, that being height, speed, power. But that ability to be the best person you can be, that’s hard to develop. Because along the way in your journey, you’re coddled a lot.
So do you have to address these types of things? This is not as if the locker room has just been open to mental health and mental well-being. So it is nice to see. We’ve seen people get help through addiction. And they’re all in the same family. This is about health. All right. If you need to practice on your jumper, you know what an NBA player does? He goes out and works on his jumper.
But if you need help with your brain and how you’re getting along with stuff, what are the avenues to be able to get some help? And it comes from players like this being able to speak out, to let ’em know, it’s OK. We all don’t have ourselves all wrapped up tight. We don’t have all of our stuff together.
To me, I believe in being in some type of maintenance program. I believe in having people around me who can speak into my life to keep me on the right path. I believe at this age, I’m the best I’ve ever been, and the reason why is because for the last 30 years I’ve been getting help. I continue to get help on a monthly basis. So for me, I love to see strong men be able to reach out and make themselves vulnerable, because more people are apt to get help when they hear the stories of DeRozan, when they hear Kevin Love.
– How in a game, how he suffered from a panic attack. So these are normal situations people go through. They just don’t expect the elite of the elite, as far as athletes, to be speaking about it. And it’s fresh to hear.
– No, you said it. Women go through it too, all the time. And yes, it’s impressive when you see a guy who’s supposedly able to just muscle his way through any issues. And I think the one thing people don’t realize about mental health is, you’re not in control. It is something completely out of your control. It is not something you can wake up in the morning and say, I’m just going to fight my way through this. I mean, your brain is just wired a little bit differently. And to get help, like you said, and to get help like you said at a young age like right out of college, it’s incredibly impressive, and it saved that track of life that you are on.
– It is impressive. Also, people, as they go through their life, there’s pressure on people every day. There’s no pressure like being a professional athlete. There’s no pressure like having to provide for your family in this window that you know is a very, very short window, where people are expecting you to be on, every single day. So the pressure of being a professional athlete– people say, oh, well let me have that pressure. Well, it’s easier said than done. So see the greatest of the great, reach out and say, man, I don’t have it all together. To me that’s very, very refreshing to see.