Like Father Like Son Pressure
Love’s father, Stan, also played in the NBA. Kevin Love says he always struggled with the stigma attached to an athlete who shows weakness.
“Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act,” he said. “You learn what it takes to ‘be a man.’ It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. So for 29 years of my life, I followed that playbook.”
The Cavs encouraged Love to see a therapist and he gets counseling a few times a month when the team is at home.
Love said he drew courage to go public with his issues after Toronto All-Star DeMar DeRozan’s recently acknowledged he has had spells of depression. After playing against DeRozan for years, Love admits he would have never guessed one of the game’s best players was having problems similar to his own.
“The reality is that we probably have a lot in common with what our friends and colleagues and neighbors are dealing with,” Love wrote. “So I’m not saying everyone should share all their deepest secrets — not everything should be public and it’s every person’s choice. But creating a better environment for talking about mental health. that’s where we need to get to.”
Love’s revelations promoted praise from teammate LeBron James, who posted on Twitter: “You’re even more powerful now than ever before @kevinlove!!! Salute and respect brother!”
Love ended his message by encouraging anyone dealing with the inner struggle to seek help.
“So if you’re reading this and you’re having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or different for sharing what you’re going through,” he said. “Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me.”