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DeMar DeRozan 6x NBA All Star on Mental Health, Growing up in Compton, Nipsey Hussle inspiration, bond with Kobe Bryant & never giving up

podcast May 21, 2024

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With May being Mental Health Awareness month, The Pivot has had several guests focus on emotional wellbeing from Michael Beasley to Ryan Mundy to Solomon Thomas and more as Mental health remains stigmatized in sports today, but more and more athletes are beginning to break the silence surrounding it and change cultural perception.

In 2018, one NBA star released an emotion-filled tweet that created waves throughout the league, generating awareness of vulnerability while garnering support as the message and impact was felt far beyond the game. Ryan, Channing and Fred sit down with six-time NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan to talk about his mental health advocacy as well as his journey to the league. The 15-year veteran shares stories from his upbringing in Compton, California and reflects on defining moments from his career.

DeMar mentions the influence of figures like Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle in his life and talks about how he is driven to inspire the next generation as well and what kept him from giving up during the darkest times. The guys ask about his trade from the Raptors to the Spurs and he reflects on the difficulty of the move, his legacy after spending 9 years in Toronto and how he handled his father’s passing while the NBA pressures continued to build. Many people consider him an NBA star and an all-time clutch player, but DeMar talks about the importance of sharing real stories and being seen as a human being, which he hopes to spotlight in his upcoming book Above the Noise.

DeMar touches on how a difficult environment growing up eventually caught up to him many years later by never coping with loss and how people always tend to believe ultimate highs don’t come with ultimate lows. He speaks the truth about the place he comes from, and opens up to Ryan, Channing and Fred on mistruths and misconceptions sharing how Money and fame don’t measure happiness but it’s through experiences that strength is built and understanding is developed. Never giving up and always wanting to be a light of hope for his family, especially his children, DeMar continues to prove people wrong with his efforts off the court and teaching through conversation.

Only 4 teams left in the NBA postseason as the Eastern and Western Conference Finals jump off today. And our partners at Fanatics Sportsbook are giving away a VIP Experience for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Download the Fanatics Sportsbook app and opt-in, that’s it. Entry 5/21/24-5/22/24. It’s easy and you too can get in on the playoff action down the stretch!

New episodes drop on Tuesdays at 12 p.m. ET and Fridays at 3:30 p.m ET on YouTube, with audio available on all streaming platforms 

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