CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond missed the team's 121-110 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night after he posted on Twitter that he was deleting his social media apps to focus on his mental health.
Drummond was ruled out because of personal reasons, according to the Bulls. Coach Billy Donovan said he is hopeful about the possibility of Drummond traveling with the team ahead of Friday night's game at Charlotte.
“As we come here and play games there's also a human side, a personal side to all these guys,” Donovan said, “and you feel bad when anybody's going through something like that. I think you try to give as much support as you can.”
The 29-year-old Drummond is in his first year with Chicago and his 11th season in the NBA overall. The two-time All-Star posted on Tuesday that he was deleting his apps and changing his number.
“Time to focus on my mental health,” Drummond wrote. “If you too are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone ... it’s okay to ask for help.”
Drummond is averaging 6.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in 62 games for the Bulls in a reserve role. He had 11 points and eight rebounds during Monday night's 124-112 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Sometimes when people look at these guys and they see them play and they see these NBA players, stars, all this other stuff, and all the stuff that comes with it that gosh, their lives must be just absolutely perfect,” Donovan said, “and they're not. We're all flawed. We all have challenges. We all have issues and things we all have to deal with.”
Bulls star DeMar DeRozan, who has been open about his own battle with depression and mental health issues, said he plans to give Drummond his space while also letting him know that he is there for him.
“We love this game. We play this game. This game's been good to us all,” DeRozan said before the loss to Los Angeles. “But at the end of the day you got to worry about and care for yourself first and foremost.”
DeRozan's honesty about his issues has led to frequent encounters with people who have expressed their gratitude about his openness with his mental health. Donovan said he was approached by a man in Toronto this season who wanted to thank DeRozan, and the player then spent some time with the man.
“Moments like that to me is bigger than playing a basketball game, a paycheck, I mean, you name it, man,” DeRozan said. “There's just something about it that speaks volumes when someone's story can help someone else and when I actually see it, it touched me in a different type of light. It's nothing but appreciation and it just shows a different type of empathy that I wish we all had.”
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Jay Cohen, The Associated Press