LOS ANGELES — I WAS JOSTLING for position with a gaggle of journalists and losing ground, sandwiched four-deep in a sea of bodies during media availability at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
It was hardly an ideal environment to broach such a sensitive, personal topic as mental health, but Cavaliers forward Kevin Love had hinted three weeks earlier in Cleveland that he might be ready to share. At that time, I was interviewing Channing Frye in the Cavs’ locker room regarding his depression following the deaths of his parents, while Love, sitting at the adjacent locker, listened intently to our conversation.
“We all go through something,” Love said, cryptically, as I stood up to leave.
Now Love was perched on a dais in a ballroom at Staples Center in front of a long, flowing black curtain, fielding innocuous questions regarding his workout regimen. I navigated my way to the front of the pack and lofted Love a couple of warm-up questions regarding Frye. Once Love acknowledged that Frye’s candor was “an important step” toward putting a face on mental health, I had my opening.
“Have you ever,” I shouted above the din of the All-Star media day madness, “sought professional counseling?”
Suddenly, silence. The incessant chatter at surrounding podiums persisted, but in the vacuum of Kevin Love’s space, everyone stopped, turned … and waited. Love fixed his eyes on me, hesitated ever so slightly, then straightened his broad shoulders and leaned into the microphone.
“Yes,” he answered firmly.
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