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Kevin Love Admits Why He Opened Up About His Mental Health Battles on LeBron James’ ‘The Shop’
- Updated: September 4, 2019
On Tuesday, during a guest appearance on LeBron James’ “The Shop” on HBO, Love spoke candidly about a time when he was not so forthcoming about his mental struggles and what drove him to finally open up to the public during the 2017-18 season.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 4, 2019
“Last year, with panic attack and my depression, I got so low, probably the lowest point in my life,” Love said.
“Jackie MacMullan, who’s a writer for ESPN, started asking me about, ‘There’s some stuff going on with you. There’s been some noise around All-Star. What’s going on?’ I said, ‘I don’t really know what you’re talking about.’ So I was deflecting like crazy. And I thought, ‘I have to get out ahead of this. I have to tell my own story.’”
When pushed to explain why he was deflecting, Love explained his side further.
“I was deflecting because I didn’t want anybody to know,” Love added. “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.’ There’s that authenticity part as well. ‘I don’t want anybody else to tell my story’”
Eventually, Love told his story to the public in March of last year when he wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune, detailing an experience in the middle of a game where he had a panic attack.
A week earlier, DeMar DeRozan, the former Toronto Raptors guard, shared with Doug Smith of the Toronto Star his own struggles with depression.
Since then, both Love and DeRozan have been at the forefront of creating mental health awareness and helping others overcome it. Because of their courage, other professional players have opened up as well.
Those in the group that Love shared his story to were Maverick Carter, Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and celebrities Kevin Hart, Charlamagne Tha God and Lil Nas X.