The NBA is leading the way in a mental health movement within the sporting world. Athletes such as Kevin Love want to create a better environment around mental health
Exacerbating mental health concerns in the NBA is the fact that 22 teams have headed to Walt DisneyLand Resort to finish the season inside "the bubble": the 220-acre ESPN sports complex that will be the home to NBA crew and teams over the next few months in order to finish the season with minimal exposure to the public.
With some athletes voicing concerns over having to live in isolation away from family and loved ones for possibly months, the NBA has reportedly put an emphasis on mental health and making resources available to the teams inside the bubble.
William Parham, director of the NBA's mental health program, said, "[This season] is going to leave the guys with a lot of time on their own, and challenges with families, newborns and whatever else they have going on in their personal lives are going to be magnified because they're going to be in confined spaces for prolonged periods of time."
The NBA's emphasis on mental wellness during playoffs shows their efforts in ramping up mental health awareness, something they have been proactively encouraging the last few years.
During this year's ESPY awards on ESPN, Kevin Love received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award in recognition of his continued efforts in mental health awareness. The following day, Love's foundation donated $500,000 to UCLA's psychology department. In a statement, Love said, "I hope one day we are able to erase the stigma around mental illness, starting with public conversations around mental health and encouraging people to seek help when they need it, followed by research, action, and change."
Love has had a huge role in facilitating the NBA on improving their policies and stance on mental health. Beginning with his candid personal essay in March 2018, Everyone Is Going Through Something, in which he opened up about his anxiety and panic attacks, Love's called attention to the stigma around discussing mental health issues, especially regarding men.
When the Cavaliers played a home game against the Atlanta Hawks in November 2018, Love suffered from a bad anxiety attack that put him out of the game during the third quarter. According to Love, the most shocking reaction he had after he realized what was wrong was not the attack by itself, but the way he may be viewed by his teammates if they found out what had happened. His greatest fear was that others would think less of him.
Many other NBA athletes have followed Love's example and opened up about their own struggles with mental health. Demar DeRozan, Trae Young, and Kelly Oubre Jr. are just a few current all-stars who have shared their own experiences.
Just a few months after Love's story was published, ex-NBA all-star, Keyon Dooling, published his own essay for The Players Tribune describing his experience getting the mental help he needed after spending 25 years of his life hiding that he had been sexually assaulted at the age of 7.
The number of high-profile NBA stars opening up about their own mental health stories helped the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to develop a first-of-its-kind initiative among national sports leagues: a mental health wellness program, which was adapted in May of 2018.
The program's mission is to facilitate balance between athletes' mental and personal health. The NBA also created new rules and guidelines for teams regarding mental health for the 2019-20 season. Teams are now required to have at least one mental health professional on as a full-time staff member. Each team is also required to have a written plan in place for mental health emergencies, along with confidentiality and privacy agreements for all athletes.
Athletes are often held to infeasible standards. They are under constant pressure to "be the best." But they are not superheroes; they are just as prone to mental health issues as anyone else.
One common factor amongst these NBA stars is the fear of being seen as weak. Hopefully, with more and more athletes sharing their personal mental health struggles, the stigma associated with discussing it will fade away.
Last week we bet big on the Pack and Aaron Rodgers going off on the Rams D, and oh boy did it ever pay off.
Divisional Round Vibe Check (3-1)
Aaron Rodgers soared high above his over/under for yards, while easily slicing and dicing up the Los Angeles defenders. Aaron Donald was just below his usual, healthy, game-wrecking self, and it definitely makes you think this one would've been closer had he been 100%. It also has to make you wonder what's wrong with the Seattle Seahawks. How have they managed to waste Russell Wilson this badly? At least, they have their eyes on a bright future for him. Yikes.
The Bills came through in a big way against the Baltimore Ravens, but not how anyone had predicted. Defense was the name of the game when anyone with an All-22 subscription was calling for a shootout of epic proportions. Sure, I lost on a couple special overs that had this game getting into the sixties, but Josh Allen still brought me to the promised land of profits.
Each Friday, FindBet will preview the week's DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on DFS sites, as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.
Most NFL DFS games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 PM games, or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.
The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. Let's take a look at players we like in the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend.
Sunday's NFL Playoff action featured six teams who don't like each other at all.
All these games were played between teams who had played each other at least once during the regular season. If you thought those games in the regular season were intense, Sunday's playoff matchups upped the stakes even more.
The Chicago Bears even replicated a dubious feat from their regular season matchup, as one of their wide receiver Anthony Miller was ejected after throwing a punch at C.J. Gardner-Johnson. The New Orleans cornerback also got into the head of Chicago wide receiver Javon Wims in the November matchup, causing Wims to get ejected in that game after he threw a punch at Gardner-Johnson.