Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love was a guest on the HBO series The Shop on Tuesday night. Along with other guests such as ex-New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, comedian Kevin Hart, rapper Lil Nas X, and Portland Trailblazers guard C.J McCollum.
During the episode, Love opened up about his decision to take his struggle with mental health public during the 2017-2018 season. Love shared with the group that before he went public, he was probably at the lowest in his life.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 4, 2019
Love first opened up about his battle with anxiety and panic attacks back in March of 2018, in The Players Tribune, and Love even experienced a panic attack during a game. He would also speak out a week after former Toronto Raptors guard DeMarr DeRozan shared a similar battle with depression in a piece written by Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
Multiple players have since then come out and shared their stories including WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage, who admits to suffering from depression in a piece with The Players Tribune.
However, Kevin Love and DeMarr DeRozan weren’t the first NBA players to shed light on the mental health issue. That honor goes to former Houston Rockets forward Royce White, who is currently a part of the Big 3 league.
During Tuesday’s episode, Love talked about what sparked his decision to write his story in The Players Tribune. According to Love, ESPN’s Senior writer, Jackie MacMullan caught wind of what was going on with him right around All-Star break in 2018, and it really freaked him out. When the news started to circulate, he went on the defensive. He would later decide to tell his story himself through the Tribune.
“I was deflecting because I didn’t want anybody to know,” Love said on The Shop. “There’s such a stigma around it. But now, I have this saying: ‘Only by admitting who you are do you get what you want.’ So I played all my cards and just said, ‘This is what you get.’ But in that time, until you can admit what’s really going on, you’re in such a hole that you have blinders on. I thought, ‘I don’t want anybody else to tell my story.’”
Last month, Royce White was interviewed by Fanatics View about the subject of mental health and was asked: If you could tell LeBron, Kevin Durant, and the rest of the legends in the league about this?
I would tell them a few things; I wouldn’t just tell them one thing. That would be irresponsible to tell them one thing. Number one, mental health is the greatest social issue we face. We see a rise in opioids, anxiety, depression, addiction in general, and PTSD. A whole host of other things, we see a rise in mass shootings. We got people walking into schools and churches killing people. Mental illness is an epidemic, but mental health is the social issue, that we need to confront.
So, I really should have to say that, but let’s start there because it seems like they don’t really understand that. That’s the starting point, secondly, sports, is a new religion. So, these sports organization that we continue to act like they are just sports organizations are not. They are representatives of a global corporate community.
How many people are apart of NBA or trying to be? Everybody! Every corporation you can think of is trying to partner with the NBA. Am I lying by saying live in a global corporatocracy? We live in a global corporatocracy, so how they feel about people is important. That is why I was pissed off that they nudge the mental health issues out of the league along with me. It is not about me, it’s not about my career, it’s about how you guys doing that says something about how you feel about people.
The fans are so gullible and let the league insulting their intelligence by letting league propping Kevin Love of this white knight of mental health and trying to white-washes their sins. That’s how gullible the fans are. You know why? Because we play a beautiful game. As corrupt the people around it may be, the players put some much time an effort and energy into it that we still appreciate them.
White stated that his comments weren’t a shot at Kevin, and appreciated him for speaking up, but more a shot at his masters.
I think Kevin is very new to this and always appreciate people, who share their struggles. That comment had nothing to do with my feelings towards Kevin, it has to do with my feelings towards his masters.