INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – Cavs forward Kevin Love spoke at Cavs media day about his active summer and what he sees from this team going forward.
The Cavaliers’ franchise player has become one of the leading voices for mental health awareness and one of several NBA stars to open up about his own history with anxiety and panic attacks. Love first did that in a powerful essay titled “Everyone Is Going Through Something,” which appeared on the Player’s Tribune in early March.
Last week, he announced the launch of the Kevin Love Fund — an initiative aimed at helping people improve their physical and emotional well-being.
Love on Monday was asked about his busy summer as well as where things stand on the court. Some highlights>
On his whirlwind summer: “I think in terms of mental health, yeah, just seeing the reaction after the Players Tribune article. . . It was very fast, but it was time to make an impact for that community. That’s going to continue to grow and evolve, and I’m excited.”
On the Kevin Love Fund: “The idea started organically, just knowing and seeing at least what my father’s side of the family had gone through, just knowing what I have gone through on the anxiety and depression side of things, facing this stuff head on . . . knowing that this stuff doesn’t discriminate. . . This is universal, it’s worldwide. . . Just being able to pay it forward, it’s going to be special.”
On how he prepared for the season: “Speaking of the mental side of things, just preparing my my mind for more post ups . . . pick and rolls . . . and just being really gritty on the defensive end. . . . This team really has the cloth, for lack of a better term, to be able to do that.”
Has helping people helped you?: “Absolutely. It’s also made me more empathetic. . . Just seeing people from so many walks of life and all corners of the earth, my hometown to LA to New York . . . with mental health, it’s universal and in our social climate, it can make a huge impact.”
Advice for families and friends dealing with mental-healthy issues: “It’s tough to have the presence of mind when you’re young to understand what you’re going through . . . But as a parent, that’s something I’m going to have to learn when that time comes . . . For most people, (help is) at arm’s reach. You can FaceTime, you can text, call, we have this community. Especially now beating down that stigma . . . that transparency is going to be key.”
What success will look like for the Cavs: “We are going to be a team that will surprise a lot of people. Ty Lue knows what he wants from us and vice-versa. Losing the best player in the world, we’re going to have a fresh start. . . . We have first- and second-year guys who have to make an impact, and then veteran guys who have playoff experience under their belt.”
On his extension with the Cavs: “This is where I wanted to be. We won a championship here, we’ve had a lot of special memories, and I wanted to keep that going.”