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The Deseret News Quotes Dr. Williams: Life Without Hoops: What Mental, Emotional Tolls are NBA Players Experiencing During Suspe


SALT LAKE CITY — Athletes, especially NBA players, are very socially connected. Even if they are natural introverts, there are always people around whether it be family, friends, teammates, coaches, training staff, doctors, entourages or fans.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, players have been isolated in a way they never have been before and that isolation, paired with the abrupt and prolonged disruption to the season, will present a whole new batch of mental and emotional issues in addition to the physical struggles they might be experiencing.

“It’s really similar to having a season-ending injury and for some a career-ending injury,” said Dr. Nicole Detling, owner of HeadStrong Consulting, and the mental performance coach with Real Salt Lake and the Utah Royals. “The problem is that it’s the whole league, and each individual will go through similar emotions as they would if they had a season-ending injury. They were fine and they were good one day, and the next day they weren’t.”