Kevin Love Discusses Struggles with Anxiety in 'Today Show' Interview

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' Tyronn Lue talks with Kevin Love in the second half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love opened up on his battles with anxiety during an interview on the Today Show with Carson Daly:

"From my experience and in talking to other players that have dealt with a number of [mental health disorders], what's going to happen if people do find out about this?" he said. "Am I going to get the contract? Am I going to be able to take care of my family? What are people going to think of me?"

Love also spoke about not closing himself off or hiding his feelings, which he had done in the past:

"For us, it was always, 'Keep your chin up.' Which is fine, but don't suppress your feelings. Don't bury them, because eventually, that's going to add up and it's going to surface in one way or another. For me, it was rage fits or going dark for a few weeks and staying in my room after basketball practice and not talking to anybody and not getting much done."

Love, 29, has spent the past four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers after starting his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds this past season. 

Off the court, Love has continued to raise awareness for mental health alongside NBA players like DeMar DeRozan. In March, Love first opened up about his struggles with anxiety in an article for The Players Tribune.

Love told Daly that after that article came out, his teammate at the time, LeBron James, pulled him to the side to speak to him.

"He kind of said, 'Hey, do you have a moment?'" Love recalled. "He stopped me, shook my hand, looked me in my eye and said, 'You helped a lot of people today. It's important.' That was super powerful for me because his influence and having my back with that was super important to me."

That support has made it easier for Love to confront his anxiety and speak about it publicly. 

"I have anxiety, but I also come from a family with a history of depression," Love told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan in February. "It's difficult to talk about. It's difficult to confront. I finally had to say to myself, 'Your whole life these things will affect you, so how are you going to manage it?'"

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