Trust me. Trust the person confiding in you right now. I really mean it. My hands are shaking as I write these lines. Depression and anxiety are as real and raw as the ravaged feeling that infects the mind with an affliction that can’t be seen like another physical injury. It is a state of sorrow or panic that can leave an individual feeling empty or even full of worry and darkness. Sometimes it’s terrifying. Other days are manageable. Sometimes it feels numb. But it’s never dumb. I got you. Somedays it’s a wave. Tomorrow maybe a storm. But for you I hope not. And it’s never one and the same for any two people. I can’t do justice to anothers bravery with my words. I can’t describe properly my pain. Some hide. Some scream. Some meditate. Others medicate. Neither is wrong. It’s whatever works or at the very least helps for you. Because you best believe it doesn’t discriminate. For anybody. Hollywood hearthrob Brad Pitt has suffered from it. As has the person you just walked past in the street. Queen Beyonce has. As has that coworker who is always cracking jokes and making you smile, but cracking under pressure underneath. Everyone is dealing with something. Problems or demons. The girl of your dreams. This writer right damn now! But this isn’t a cry for help. It’s a call to action.
Even Kevin Love suffers.
The Basketball superstar. The NBA Champion. The new leader in King James’ departed wake of the Cleveland Cavaliers. A man whose about to remind us just how much of a franchise face and leader he is. One of the last true big man greats of the game with 30/30 Wilt like Goliath numbers and in the paint court vision. The only man who can put Steph Curry off his shot. A Beach Boy family kid. A cool Californian soul and UCLA grad as the most likely to succeed and take the prom queen to homecoming. The second best Minnesota Timberwolves big of all-time after Da Kid, Kevin Garnett. A grown man. A dapper dan attired in Banana Republic with GQ good looks. A gentleman over four quarters. A winner.
Yet he is still burdened by anxiety and depression. But putting it all on his back and broad shoulders. Kevin is willing to take it all and help carry the load for those who suffer in silence and need a voice in their corner from the shadows, when no one else is there.
You are not alone!
Read that again.
Just like former Toronto Raptor and new San Antonio star DeMar DeRozan, who put the whole country of Canada on his court carrying back and also spoke up about his own mental health struggles in solidarity to those who no longer have to live in solitude. Kevin Love penned a poignant and powerful personal piece on The Players Tribune blog/diary site for professionals in the sports arena. Candidly and courageously disclosing a previous locker room secret about him suffering a panic attack mid-game earlier this year.
Doing so to end the stigma in modern sports that these feelings aren’t manly. In a world of toxic masculinity that would probably tell most to just “man up”. Which cruelly is a million miles away from the right response (do you have any idea the harm that can do?). Doing so to further the support and truth today that these type of mental health problems are more common than you think and the furthest thing away from anything to be ashamed of. Vulnerability is strength. It contains the word “ability”. The ability to feel. The ability of empathy.
Keep that head up!
Your bravery knows no bounds.
And now talking to Jalen Rose and ESPN last week, Kevin is funding his own foundation which will also work with Hollywood movie star Glenn Close’s ‘Bring Change To Mind’ campaign and Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Just Keep Livin” charity. The Players Tribune tribute was just the beginning. Even after his court career ends, hanging his sneakers and jersey up to those retired Hall of Fame rafters. Kevin will lace them back up and go to work building a whole new team and coaching them against a different kind of opposition, in a whole new arena. But yet again one of the most selfless superstars will be doing it for all those around him and those who look up to him. Role models don’t get much bigger than this seven footer. And this number zero hero is about to extend his reach, from nothing to something.
Now if that isn’t Love then I don’t know what is.
Kevin talks about it best though…
“No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside. Not talking about our inner lives robs us of really getting to know ourselves and robs us of the chance to reach out to others in need. So if you’re reading this and you’re having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or different for sharing what you’re going through.
Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me.”-Kevin Love (Via ‘The Players Tribune’).
Kevin Love is supreme. And we aren’t talking about the shooting sleeve on J.R. Smith’s arm Coltrane. Look, I aint got much time left. But Love has bared his whole heart and soul. Leaving it all on the floor has a different meaning off-court. And Kevin’s and I quote, “life work” is going to inspire more than any big block, buzzer beater, or slam dunk. With his next move the new King of Cleveland is really ready to lead in the most important way. All in. All for one and one for all.
It’s more than a cliche when we say this is bigger than basketball, or more than a game. This is real life.
MVP Brandon Clarke dominates, leads Grizzlies to 2019 NBA Summer League Title
Canadian Brandon Clarke, the 21st pick of the 2019 Draft dominated the NBA’s annual summer showcase — becoming the first player to take home both tournament and championship game most valuable player honors with a dominant 15 points, 16 rebounds double-double. The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 to win the 2019 NBA Summer League championship.
The former Gonzaga standout added 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 25 minutes.
In six games of summer league action, Clark averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Vancouver native shot 55% from the field and becomes the first ever Canadian to win MVP at the NBA Summer League.
Clarke was also named to the first-team all-NBA Summer League team. Other standouts included fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker who joined Clarke on the first-team. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher was named to the second-team.
New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground
Magnitudes off the Richter. An earthquake hit Sin City like jackpot in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada out in the desert last week.
And as the Jumbo-tron still shook like the music it was pumping, many people in awe inspired attendance would have been forgiven for thinking it was Zion. As the Duke standout and the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Williamson made us feel more tremors than Kevin Bacon. As the new New Orleans Pelican burst out the hardwood and flew, man-handling a steal off an opponent who’s just a poster now’s inbounds pass and put back a viscous, signature slam that felt like they still tested atomic bombs out in the Nevada desert overlooking the electric, neon skyline. All whilst new and former teammates respectively, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Anthony Davis looked on with “here comes the big airplane” mouths.
But after the road to Mount Zion’s knee injury lead to more Patrick Ewing ice than up there in Japan’s Mount Fuji, it was better the Blue Devil you know. As the Knicks third pick RJ Barrett ended up moving the needle more over this scorching, seasonal tourney of the youthful future of this association. Looking as good as those beautiful blue Knicks Summer League jerseys that are so clean we want to see them fresh off the press in the the NBA Store in NYC. So much so that even if RJ handed you one of his autographed signatures post game you’d still be like, “you got this in a medium?”
Sounding better than all those thirsty announcers singing “Summer Leeeeague” like The Isley Brothers this time of year classic, ‘Summer Breeze’. Making everything feel fine as he blew through defenders like the Jasmine in my mind. RJ initialed his dynamic debut and mainstream moment. Making Knicks’ fans almost forget that they just lost out on their number one goal, Zion Williamson. Or their free agent duo desire of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who ended up on the other side of New York, across that bridge from Manhattan in Brooklyn with the Nets…almost. Following the sweated out, hard nosed 90’s were only Jordan and Starks shots got in the way of golden era glory, the Knicks’ now have their first real leader in the post Porzingis era since Syracuse star ‘Melo for the Orangemen.
And he’s not alone. Barrett who was choosing Knicks’ mannequin heads to bucket on New York’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon nights before the draft cap has plenty to pass to in a Pelican rivaling young core of young guns, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier, new free agent signing Julius Randle (this Pel is still a big ‘cat out of Kentucky like Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins reunited on the Lake Show like purple and gold fans hoped he would be too), Elfrid Payton and of course the soaring Dennis Smith Jr. Not to mention a bolstered bench of Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock from more than midtown. Call it Chelsea, the Tribeca or even Battery Park after the High-Line of the Meatpacking District. The future of this franchise to the naked eye of ignorance is about to look better than the view from that new Vessel structure in Hudson Yards.
Barrett began in Vegas with some early snake eyes trouble. But rolling the dice again he turned into a killer like Brandon Flowers. The man. Come round. Nothing can break. Nothing can break him down. First he scorched California’s new look King sized Lakers for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. But it was his spell in his last Summer forecast against the Wizards were RJ showed Washington that just like NYC, DC may be America’s capital, but there’s nothing like New York, New York. He was so good you had to check the instant replay twice, with another 21 and 10, two perfect precision passes off cashing in a triple-double chip like he was a team that had both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster roll call. Houston, do you read me?
Averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a televised tournament that is basically a glorified practice scrimmage (tell me, do you even know who won the thing?) show he will be above so. The Canadian Maple Mamba has that syrup for your bacon. Even without free agent big names like Kevin and Kyrie who are one more decision away from being journeymen, forget super-teams, the Knicks may have a lifer in RJ from Coach K’s Duke fraternity administration in the association now. Can you relate? Barrett could be brilliant and New York no longer a rotten apple. But a couple of big names away from having their title again in the Mecca of Madison Square Garden’s, World’s Most Famous Arena in bright Times Square lights.
It’s almost a New Year for New York, time for the ball to drop.
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