Cleveland Cavaliers all-star forward Kevin Love is getting serious about his mental health. The fan-favorite Cavs player recently opened up about a scary moment he had back in November that ultimately forced him to leave during a game and check himself into the hospital.
According to a March 6 essay published by Kevin Love on the Players’ Tribune, Love opens up about a panic attack he suffered back in November during a game with the Atlanta Hawks.
“It came out of nowhere,” he says, revealing that although you can’t see a panic attack, it is “as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle.”
Love admits that since that day he thinks about the state of his mental health on a daily basis.
Kevin Love says that he knew something was wrong before the Cleveland Cavaliers began their game with the Atlanta Hawks back in November. Love claims he felt some symptoms as the game began to roll on, and by the third quarter, things went from bad to worse. Kevin left the game and was accompanied to the hospital with a member of the Cavs staff. Love then rejoined the team the next day and played in the Cavs’ next game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Love also admitted that he was inspired to speak out about his mental health by Toronto Raptors player DeMar DeRozan, who opened up about his battle with depression in February.
“I know it from experience. Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. 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. And look, I’m probably not telling you anything new here. These values about men and toughness are so ordinary that they’re everywhere… and invisible at the same time, surrounding us like air or water. They’re a lot like depression or anxiety in that way.”
Meanwhile, the game back in November isn’t the only time Kevin Love has left during the middle of a game. In January, during a blow-out loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Love left in the first quarter of the game with an illness, and later it was revealed that some members of the Cleveland Cavaliers, such as now-traded guard Isaiah Thomas, were unhappy about his absence. A few weeks later, Love left a game due to a broken hand and has yet to return to the team. However, the Cavs are optimistic about his return, as he’s already back in the gym running and shooting. He’s expected to return sometime this month.