Kelly Oubre Opens Up on Feeling Anxiety, Depression as an NBA Player

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23: Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Washington Wizards celebrates after scoring against Charlotte Hornets during the first half at Capital One Arena on February 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Washington Wizards swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. told NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Tipoff podcast Wednesday that he has been dealing with mental health issues of his own in light of recent comments made by Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love

"That s--t is serious," Oubre told NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes and Chris Miller. "I just go into a quiet place and breath, man. Just being mindful is the only way I know how to get through any anxiety, any depression or anything like that." 

Oubre also said his stoic exterior, which is what fans see on the court, isn't necessarily reflective of how he's feeling on the inside.

"I can definitely relate to it all," he said. "I'm really good at keeping a poker face because when I was growing up my dad always told me 'don't let anybody see you weak.' Nobody sees that I'm weak, but deep down inside I am going through a lot. Hell is turning over."

He added: "I feel like people who are on the outside looking in don't really understand because they see us as superheroes, but we're normal people, man. We go through the issues that normal people go through times 10."

Oubre's comments come one day after Love penned an essay for The Players' Tribune titled, "Everyone Is Going Through Something," that detailed a panic attack he suffered during the Cavaliers' game against the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 5 and how he's dealt with his anxiety and depression since then. 

Furthermore, Love credited DeRozan for his candor after the Raptors 2-guard first discussed his anxiety and depression with the Toronto Star's Doug Smith last month. 

"Just by sharing what he shared, DeMar probably helped some people—and maybe a lot more people than we know—feel like they aren't crazy or weird to be struggling with depression," Love wrote. "His comments helped take some power away from that stigma, and I think that's where the hope is."

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