LeBron James reacts to Kevin Love opening up about mental health
Kevin Love has received a lot of praise for opening up about his personal struggles with mental health issues. Despite it being a sensitive topic, he bravely shared his experience, to raise awareness and remove the stigma anyone may have for people who suffer from it.
Just recently, LeBron James also gave his reaction to his teammate’s admittance. He talked about the Cleveland Cavaliers accepting him and making him feel that he’s not alone in his battle. He then offered some advice. via Dave McMenamin of ESPN, for Love to remain strong and believes he can get through it.
“I think Kevin’s always been accepted in our locker room from day one,” James said. “I don’t think it changes how we’ve always kind of seen Kev. I think people dealing with the same situation, that’s in the same situation as Kev, I think it helps them out more than anybody to not feel like they’re alone because they’re not. As athletes we’re put up on this pedestal, but we go through some of the same problems. … We’re all human beings, all of us. I think it’s very enlightening for him to know that and to see that in himself and know that he can help others by doing that.”
When asked why he thought it was easier for athletes to express concerns about physical issues rather than any possible mental issues, James’ answer was simple.
“Because we live in a sport or in a world where our whole lives we were always taught, ‘Figure it out on your own. Be as strong as you can. Don’t show anybody any weakness. That’s how we’ve been built. We’ve been built like that our whole lives, ever since we picked up a basketball or picked up a football, whatever the case may be. It’s like, ‘Be as strong as you can and deal with any issues that you can on your own.’ That sometimes can become a problem. Obviously when you’re able to see that, sometimes that’s not the way to deal with it, it actually makes you even [stronger] in the respective sport that you are in.”
The five-time All-Star is currently recovering from a broken hand and is slated to return to action in late march or early April. If he does not suffer any setbacks, it will give him a few games to get his timing and conditioning back, before the start of the playoffs. Love is expected to be relied upon heavily by the Cavs to bring his championship experience to the floor as they try to win their second championship in three years. His role with the team is more than just stretching the floor and grabbing rebounds, as outside of James, he may be the most important player of the Wine and Gold.
Love could receive more support from players, coaches and other members of the basketball community in the coming days. Raptors’ guard DeMar DeRozan already came out and spoke about his struggles, and Wizards; guard Kelly Oubre has as well.
However, knowing that his teammates has his back may give him the strength he needs to win his battle with mental health issues, as they are the ones who are always surrounding him.