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Adam Silver on mental health around NBA: ‘A lot of players are unhappy’

More and more NBA players are coming forward to talk about their mental health concerns. Kevin Love, DeMar DeRozan, and other players have come forward, all of which prompted the National Basketball Players Association to hire a director of mental health and wellness to launch a program and work with players.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, said the issue is bigger than a few isolated players, and that those players open up to him about mental health issues.

“We are living in a time of anxiety,” Silver said via the Associated Press. “I think it’s a direct result of social media. A lot of players are unhappy... I’m an anxious person myself. That’s why the players like talking to me.”

Silver has been out in front of the issues, encouraging players to speak out. It’s not an issue he wants to see pushed into the dark corners, where it has lived for too long in society. ‘

Silver also said the isolation players feel is more than an NBA issue, it’s a societal one. Via the Boston Globe.

“If you’re around a team in this day and age, there are always headphones on...[The players] are isolated, and they have their heads down,” Silver observed. He also added that unhappiness and isolation around the league is “to the point where it’s almost pathology.’...

“I don’t think it’s unique to these players. I don’t think it’s something that’s just going around superstar athletes. I think it’s a generational issue,” added Silver.

As Silver noted, the days when Isiah Thomas said “championships are won on the bus” are long gone.