Kevin Love didn’t play in the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, largely because the five-time All-Star had played just six games before the break. Still, you could argue the Cleveland Cavalier is in the midst of one of the most meaningful seasons of his career. Love has gone through the proverbial wringer over the last calendar year and emerged as an important figure in the National Basketball Association in a number of different ways.
With LeBron James gone from Cleveland, Love is now the leader of a Cavaliers team looking for a new identity. Perhaps that hasn’t happened as much as he’d hoped, as Love suffered a toe injury in October that required surgery in early November. Love returned for the Cavs in limited minutes before the All-Star break, but it’s been a long layoff for the 11-year veteran. The season, both for Love himself and the Cavaliers as a whole, has been difficult.
But as a person, Love has embarked on a new journey as an advocate for mental health in the NBA. Last March, Love wrote an article in The Player’s Tribune where he revealed he suffered from panic attacks late in 2017. “Everyone Is Going Through Something” sent ripples through the NBA, both in locker rooms and among fans who rarely see professional athletes talk about their mental health.