The NBA players have gone through a lot in 2020. The loss of Kobe Bryant, the Coronavirus pandemic, police brutality, and the rise of systemic racism. To make things worse, the players are locked down in a 'bubble' for an extended duration of time without their family and friends. As the action on the court intensifies, we have a NBA news update addressing an often overlooked issue - 'mental health'.
'The Bubble got the best of me' says Paul George
This is the first time NBA players are staying away from their families for over 3 months. Until last year, close to 50% of the regular season and playoff games were played in their hometown. Though the Orlando Bubble provides various facilities for players to unwind, there are a lot of rules and regulations that come with it. The latest NBA news update suggests that the bubble environment has even started affecting players' performance on the court.
LA Clippers' superstar Paul George touched upon the 'mental health' aspect of things while talking about his sub-par performance in the playoffs. During a post-game interview, Paul said:
"The bubble got the best of me. I was just in a dark place. I wasn't really here, I checked out. These past couple of games, it was just difficult."
Paul George might just be one of many other victims of the bubble environment. LA Lakers' star Danny Green came in support of Paul as he could relate it to his personal experience. Green said:
"I know exactly what Paul is going through. You have nothing to do but look at your phone and social media all day. All they are doing is bullying you. So he was going through a rough stretch. I’m sure doors were closing in on him, and it was getting dark for him."
Some of these concerns diminished recently as players were allowed to bring in some family members and friends to stay inside the Disney campus. Interacting with them has enabled the players to take their mind off of basketball for a while.
NBA News Update: The league doing it's best to help players with mental health issues
Mental health concerns were addressed to an extent by the league way back in 2015 by making clinical psychologists available to the players. During the NBA hiatus back in March, the players association also held regular meetings and phone calls with the players.
Keyon Dooling, the NBA players union’s wellness counselor has now ensured that clinicians stay available whenever needed. They also have other Mind Health consultants available inside the NBA bubble. With still over a month to go before the season concludes, these crucial steps taken by the league go a long way ensuring player's mental health in the bubble.
Published 09 Sep 2020, 01:45 IST