When the NBA announced the Orlando Bubble, one of the teams that were excluded was the Cleveland Cavaliers. With no basketball action for over months, it is tough to maintain fitness. Star Kevin Love recently spoke about this and revealed how he was inspired by MLB legend Derek Jeter.
“I learned from Derek Jeter—thankfully, early on in my career—that it’s a lot easier to stay in shape than [it is] to get back in shape,” the 5-time All-Star said during an Instagram Live conversation with GQ’s Clay Skipper. “I was a fat boy early on, so I had to learn that the hard way.”
After six seasons with the Timberwolves, he arrived in Cleveland following a three-team trade. He finally won his long-awaited ring with them in 2016, after the Cavs beat the Warriors in that famous 3-1 comeback.
Since then, his on-court contributions have declined a bit, but his off-court work has been amazing. He has been an active voice for mental health in the league, something no one else touched before him.
Kevin Love: An icon for mental health in sports
Mental health has always been a taboo topic for athletes. A lot of them have gone through problems, but the environment makes it difficult to talk about. So when Love came ahead to speak about his own panic attack a few years back, it helped to bring in some changes. He spoke about this as well during the Instagram live session.
Talking about balancing physical and mental health, he said, “We can be better as a whole. We can be better as a collective. It’s not me, me, me. It’s we. That’s what I’ve learned more than anything throughout this entire period. It’s just so much bigger than me. This is about all of us.”
He recently opened the world’s first mental health gym called Coa. They offer sessions with therapists who are matched with their clients. From spreading awareness about the subject, to investing in such ventures, Love has been helping to eliminate the taboo and help others come forward too.
Heading into his seventh season with the Cavs now, Love will be a mentor for the young squad they have now and hopefully take them to an improved performance compared to last season.
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