It seems the NBA is taking the lead in the fight against mental health in sports recently, with All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love both going public in the past two weeks regarding their struggles with depression and anxiety.
The pair of All-Stars were met with an outpouring of support from fellow players, NBA fans and the general public over social media, and the response is more than likely going to help other athletes affected by mental illness come out and seek help in the near future.
CB was quick to praise the two for their bravery and how proud he was of them…
“I’m kind of mixed on it, I’m on the fence about it,” Bosh told Simmons. “I think for one, I understand both sides, I understand that this is the age of information. The internet has allowed everybody to share and at the same time, it’s brand awareness of basketball players which is great. They realize that it’s more than just the game.”
…but also warned them about the downsides of releasing that sort of information to the public.
“I was raised by old-school guys in the game and it was always about competition and protecting yourself,” Bosh continued. “So like with Kevin and Kevin’s instance, him writing that piece – and I read it, it was great – as a competitor, I would look (at) how to exploit that. Now it’s great for awareness and mental health – and that’s absolutely fantastic and you need that – but then there’s a side at the same time where it’s like, oh OK, your enemy is going to read that. That’s great that we’re all friends, but at the end of the day there’s one trophy … Information is definitely currency.”
Chris Bosh definitely isn’t wrong here. There are a few players in the league today — and many more who have only recently retired (cough cough Kevin Garnett) — who would’ve 100% made fun of Love and DeMar on the court for their mental health issues to try and get in their head to gain a slight advantage over them.
Thankfully in this instance, the NBA has become a lot more tight-knit when it comes to the players, and the majority of them would steer clear of that kind of trash talk when facing the Cavaliers or Raptors, but there’s always going to one or two who take things too far in the heat of competition.