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Andre Drummond opens up about his mental health leave from the Chicago Bulls

Will Gottlieb Avatar
April 3, 2023

After taking some time off to reflect and work through some personal mental health issues, Andre Drummond rejoined the team on Friday, but spoke to the media for the first time since his return after Sunday’s game.

“Everybody was there for me,” Drummond said. “Nobody really knew what was going on. I was dealing with a lot mentally and I had to take some time away to really clear my mind and address some things that I’d been neglecting for awhile. And I feel OK.

“We’re looked at as superheroes, that nothing really bothers us and we don’t have a life outside the game,” Drummond said. “That’s what people fail to understand, that we do have personal lives outside of the game. And it becomes taxing at times. And that superhero cape we have on has to come off at some point.

“It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to feel. It’s OK to be emotional. We’re all men, but we have to be OK with having feelings.”

Having logged out of his accounts immediately following the initial announcement, Drummond said he didn’t know what kind of reaction his tweet would get.

“You know, I already erased it so I didn’t even know what was going on until people started telling me,” he said. “I wasn’t doing it to get that kind of reaction, it was more so just the closing of a chapter from my mental. Just to really escape that and really tackle some things that I need to take care of.”

Drummond is not the only NBA player or athlete to come forward with mental health struggles. His teammate DeMar DeRozan famously brought those issues to the forefront, and spurred a movement toward normalizing and accepting mental health problems and the strength to work through them.

Drummond now becomes part of the movement.

“Over the last couple of years, I think guys have been coming out and expressing you know, it’s ok to shed light on mental traumas and things that we go through, and it’s okay to share with other people,” Drummond said. “Other people have the same type of journey that we’re going down too, and it’s okay to bring them along to to let them know they’re not alone.”

Fortunately for him (and the Bulls, but firstly him), he’s back and ready to contribute to the Bulls playoff push.

“Obviously, still got a lot of work to do with my mental but we have a job to do, and that’s to win basketball games and get to the playoffs,” he said. “So I’m back. I’m ready to play. The stuff personally I can take care of when the time comes, but I still have a job to do.”

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