Mental health on injury report? NBA’s awakening could spark unprecedented move

Near the end of his rocky season, in April 2021, Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman learned he had a torn meniscus that required surgery in his right knee. he cried as he sat in the Chase Center garage, struggling to digest the news. Then he cried for several days.

Weisman plunged into a dark place at times over the next fifteen months. He could not play basketball and his daily life was strenuous: he wore a brace and required crutches, which made it difficult to use the bathroom or shower.

Wiseman also bottled up his emotions, leaving him mired in frustration.

“Just going through my ordeal made me mentally stronger but also had a negative effect on my mind,” he said in a recent interview with Chronicle. I had to go to therapy and express myself. … When you grab onto everything, it kind of rips you off. “

In acknowledging that he needed help, and extolling the benefits of his therapist sessions, Wiseman joined a growing list of NBA players to publicly confront mental health challenges. From DeMar DeRozan to Kevin Love to John Wall, many notable players have come forward with their stories, prompting the league and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to launch programs to protect mental health and wellness.

Warriors Summer League player James Wiseman answers questions in the interview room at Chase Center on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

Leah Suzuki/The Chronicle

The NBA and its players’ unions are now considering a significant step: adding a mental health rating to its official injury report. This possibility was discussed in collective bargaining talks between the two sides, The Athletic’s Shams Al-Shaaraniyya reported in September.


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