My Summer Lair Chapter #115: Is Basketball A Mental Game?
About a year ago Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan released statements about their mental health status and anxiety struggles. We all held hands, called them brave and established the bold narrative that this was the start of a significant revolution.
Thing is before Love and before DeRozan there was Kendall Gill…for some of you that’s a who? In 1995 Gill who played for Charlotte Hornets and Seattle SuperSonics openly talked about his mental health experiences following his diagnosis of clinical depression and was promptly…vilified. Sports reporters at the time branded Gill as a malcontent.
And yet the mental health discussion Gill ignited culminated with the infamous Malice at the Palace where on November 19, 2004 Ron Artest climbed in the stands to begin punching Detroit Pistons fans.
Because after Gill and before Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan there was Ron Artest. Quiet Storm is the aptly named and fascinating exploration of Ron Artest’s career and an examination of his character. For you can’t know somebody until you understand them.
The basic premise of the documentary?
“In the world of professional sports no American athlete ever came back from a mental health disorder….until Ron Artest, now known to the world as Metta World Peace.”
S’really well done like 30 for 30 well done…it covers all the hip hop that flows outta Ron’s Queensbridge projects right up to that HUGE 3 with the Lakers. Quiet Storm is directed by Johnny Sweet whose previous doc Vick was on another polarizing athlete: Michael Vick.
The proliferation of quality sports documentaries has forced us to reexamine the narratives we associate with the players.
All good documentaries just as all good lives are prompted by asking key questions and fueled by a dogged determination to get answers. It’s evolution in thinking, growth…maturity. It’s what narratives are not good at doing because they’re time-locked; maturity makes narratives like ill-fitting hand me down clothes.
And those questions from covering polarizing athletes, to the 90s Knicks to even if Ron Artest feels remorse for the Malice at the Palace are Johnny Sweet and I cover in this conversation.
If you don’t wanna put on pants or can’t come to Hot Docs 2019…it’ll be broadcast on Showtime on May 31. Which is Mental Health Month. Or view it on Showtime on Demand at any time.
Host Sammy Younan
Recorded: Thursday April 30, 2019 at 7pm at WeWork
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