, 2022-12-21 20:41:50,
Three words grabbed my attention as I read Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s jarring account of his childhood: “Walk it off.”
Those three words were in response to a 14-year-old Ham being shot in the face, which resulted in a near-death experience that required an 11-day hospital stay. Those three words. Unsweet and simple. Short and unkind.
Those three words are the language of suppression, a generational tale that suggests one feels nothing. Pain is “weakness leaving the body,” not a signal to your nervous system that something is wrong. A select few manage this numbness and mold themselves in a way that generates millions. We lionize these tragedies which presumably turn into triumphs, and it therefore baffles us when that hollowness cries out for help.
“As Black people, we don’t have enough therapy,” Ham recalled in an excerpt from the interview which later went viral. “I have PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] to this day off them shots ringing out, getting shot, the s— going on in my neighborhood. And … we think it’s cowardice or we’re weak if we go get help. And we need so much help, bro.”
In March, another NBA name offered perspective from the abyss. Michael Beasley, the second pick of the 2008 NBA draft, appeared to be in good health when he appeared on an episode of The Pivot…
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