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The mental health of NBA players has become a more frequent topic of conversation over the last year, with stars like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love speaking out about their own battles with issues like depression and anxiety. ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan is taking a deep dive into the subject this week with a five-part series on mental health and the NBA.

The first installment of MacMullan’s series featured some fascinating tidbits about individual players, along with an interesting note about the disagreement between the union and some team owners about how mental health issues ought to be handled. According to MacMullan, the player’s union insists that mental health treatment remain confidential, but multiple NBA owners want access to their players’ files, given their level of investment in those players. The NBA has sided with the players on issues of confidentiality.

For those interested in the subject, the second and third pieces in MacMullan’s series have also been published and are worth checking out. Parts four and five will go up later this week.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Which of the players eligible for rookie scale extensions this year are the best candidates to receive new deals? Tom Ziller of SBNation.com breaks it down, noting that Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis are the only viable candidates for maximum-salary extensions now that Devin Booker has signed one.
  • Teams who lose a star player or find themselves trending downward after years of playoff contention should think long and hard before committing to tanking, according to Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders, who makes the case that an all-out tank isn’t always the best path for a rebuilding team to take.
  • The BIG3 announced several awards for its 2018 season, including Corey Maggette for MVP, Al Harrington for the “Too Hard to Guard” award, and – of course – Gary Payton for the title of Best Trash Talker (all Twitter links).


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