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Kevin Love: NBA players must be ‘community leaders’ amid pandemic

Kevin Love opened up about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic during an interview Wednesday on NBC’s “TODAY” show, and the Cleveland Cavaliers star pointed out how NBA players ought to use their status, wealth and influence to help serve the general public amid the outbreak.

In an interview with Hoda Kotb understandably conducted remotely, Love shared his thoughts on how NBA players have the wherewithal in myriad ways to make a positive impact in their respective communities and beyond.

“Obviously it’s been an incredibly stressful time for a number of people,” Love said on TODAY Wednesday. “A lot of people living paycheck to paycheck. So I felt this is really the time, especially for us NBA players, to walk the walk and be more than athletes.”

Love of course demonstrated as much by being among the first NBA stars to come forward to help alleviate the immense financial burden the league’s hiatus has and will continue to have upon arena workers and other employees who depend on the teams to earn an income.

Through his Kevin Love Fund, the Cavaliers star made a $100,000 donation┬áto provide financial support to workers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the team’s home arena.

Love’s gesture went on to inspire Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, among others, to make similar commitments.

“It was just a way for me to try and help navigate this incredibly stressful and anxiety-ridden to just pay it forward and really help them,” Love said. “I think it’s more of a time for us to step up and be community leaders and do what’s right for the people that are having a stressful and tough time.”

Love has been a passionate and courageous advocate for mental health awareness and has pushed for destigmatization of mental illness after suffering a panic attack in November 2017. The Cavs star noted the widespread uncertainty and fear amid the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly will have an adverse impact on our collective mental health.

“I think during those times you can feel incredibly hopeless, and I think that’s at the root of all anxiety and depression first and foremost,” Love said. “I think it’s incredibly tough and not good to do is just sit at home and be by yourself and not reach out to anybody.

“I think people are looking for that sense of community, the feeling of being integrated into something bigger than themselves.”