Home / News / DeMar DeRozan and Draymond Green talk about mental health

DeMar DeRozan and Draymond Green talk about mental health


Draymond Green spent years trying to talk him out of going to therapy.

The Golden State Warriors star made his skepticism clear in the opening episode of “Dinner with DeMar,” a video series hosted by Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan that highlights mental health conversations with other NBA players.

In the first episode, which aired Tuesday, Green expressed his desire to heal emotionally and mentally but said he had a hard time accepting therapy as a viable option.

“In the NBA, a clinical psychologist comes and talks to the team, and every time that guy comes in during these meetings, he’s like, ‘Hey, can I get your card? I’ll reach out to you,'” Green said. “There were times when I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m going to go to therapy, I’m ready to go, now is the time.’ And every time I talked myself out of it. … I talked myself out of it a million times.”

It’s a familiar feeling for DeRozan, who was equally cautious about starting therapy in 2018.

The depth of his trauma — getting excited about wearing the wrong colors as a 12-year-old, watching his father’s final moments on a laptop screen during the COVID-19 pandemic — often left him questioning how well a therapist could relate to him or offer advice. he.

“I would find any excuse not to go,” DeRozan said. “I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just going to treat it like a movie session, really indulge myself and see what I can come up with. Even if it was something I could find, that’s really how I looked at it. Let me treat this like a movie session. Even though I don’t know what happened in the match. Let me see something that might help me with my next capture.”

Green became the focus of mental health controversy after he was given league-mandated therapy while serving a 12-game suspension for punching Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić during a game on December 12.

The DeRozan episode was taped in July, long before Green’s suspension. But even then, Green said he understood that his sometimes volatile emotions could pose a danger and his desire to improve himself.

“Earlier this year I had to tell myself: ‘It’s time to get back to yourself, it’s time to improve yourself,’” Green said. “You’ve never grown as a person. OK, you’ve gotten better at basketball, you’ve gotten better at podcasting, but you’ve never grown as a person.”

DeRozan understands the outside perception of Green, whom he described at the beginning of the episode as “one of the most misunderstood people in our league.”

But despite the difficult context of last year, DeRozan said last season didn’t change the way he viewed or valued Green’s conversations about the series.

“Just him,” DeRozan said. “Draymond has been Draymond since he was in the league. I think we talked about this in this episode; The passion and fire he brings, you take these from him, he can’t get into the NBA, he can’t be an All-Star, he can’t be a champion, he can’t be a defender. Take away his fire, his passion, and he can’t be him anymore. “There’s something in all of us that we need to learn how to tame and understand, and I think that’s where he’s at.”

DeRozan kicked off the series with an event held at his alma mater, USC, on Tuesday evening. With the series, DeRozan hopes to break the stigma surrounding conversations about mental health and therapy.

For his Bulls teammates and coaches, these conversations have become a normal part of working around DeRozan.

“I love talking to DeMar about this because I think, not just NBA players or basketball players, but professionals as well, a lot of your success comes down to how hard you work to get yourself in a good place mentally,” coach Billy Donovan said. aforementioned. “I truly admire and respect DeMar for the personal work he puts in, but also for the vulnerability he is willing to share. “It is powerful on so many different levels.”

The full video is available on DeRozan’s YouTube channel. The first season of the “Dinner with DeMar” series will feature two additional episodes featuring Damian Lillard and Dwyane Wade.


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