Metta World Peace on Tremendous Upside

Metta World Peace Transcript

This is a transcript of our episode featuring a candid conversation with Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest).

Listen to the episode: Website | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Note: This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future for accuracy.

Chamique Holdsclaw [voice over]: Tremendous Upside features real talk about mental health. We talk about big wins, but we also talk about some really difficult stuff. And we want you to know that before we get into it.

Metta World Peace: I had a mental... nervous breakdown. Nervous breakdown.

Holdsclaw: Ok.

World Peace: Yeah, on the highway. On the 90. Stopped the car over in the shoulder. On the left side, not even the right side, left side. I remember I was just...

Holdsclaw: Were you by yourself?

World Peace: I was by myself. I was by myself.

Holdsclaw: Was it like an anxiety attack? How do you? Explain it.

World Peace: I was just so stressed.

Holdsclaw [VO]: This is Tremendous Upside, a show about great athletes and our mental health. I'm Chamique Holdsclaw. Six-time WNBA All-Star. Three-time NCAA championship. Two-time Naismith Award winner. Olympic gold medalist. And a person living with mental illness. In my case, depression and bipolar disorder.

World Peace: I feel like I would've had a better career if things were... if I would've had a little bit more stability and just focused on the game, 'cause I always wanted to fight, and I'm on the court. Ain't nobody to fight on the court. There's nothing going down, it's just basketball. What was you mad about?

Holdsclaw [VO]: That's my friend Ron. I know him from back in the day. When we were kids, we were just being kids. We never talked about what was going on with us. In our case, we were just playing ball.

Holdsclaw: Man, it was just an enjoyable, the innocence, right?

World Peace: Yeah.

Holdsclaw: Think about... we just thought there playing--

World Peace: And you was clapping boards on people earlier. You was clapping boards. I remember you used to like spin, drop step, two-hand claps [laughs].

Holdsclaw: And I'm like-- I thought I was one of the boys for a while [laughs].

Holdsclaw [VO]: We both ended up having big careers.

[Sports announcer from archive footage]: Artest has made four baskets in a row. Three of them jams with authority.

[Sports announcer from archive footage]: Chamique Holdsclaw. National Player of the Year, and regarded by many as the best college player ever.

[Sports announcer from archive footage]: Artest doing a good job denying Jordan's possession of the ball. Jordan has to just walk away to the weak side.

Holdsclaw [VO]: But it took a long time for us to deal with what was going on in our heads. For me, before I got a grip on it, I could get volatile. I did some scary things. Things there were no excuse for. Things that could have hurt people. One of them made the news. It was a rock bottom moment... and a wake-up call.

My mental illness helps explain where my mind was at that time. Like I said: it's no excuse. It's not why I did it, but I had to get healthy, mentally. I started to get help. I started to work on my issues. I got therapy and I started taking medication. Now I'm working as a mental health advocate and I'm hosting this show.

For our first episode, I talked to my friend Ron Artest. Today, his name is Metta World Peace. The rest of the world knows Ron best for one thing.

[Sports announcer from archive footage]: Now Artest has kicked over the scorer's table and is trying to get down to the bench. Artest is in the stands.

[NBA Commissioner David Stern from archive footage]: Today, I announced the following suspensions resulting from the actions at the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons game on November 19th. Indiana's Ron Artest has been suspended for the remainder of the season.

Holdsclaw [VO]: But that's just one piece of his story. We talked about what it was really like to go from being a kid in the projects to a superstar in the NBA. When you're little, it's everything you want. But when Ron got it all, it was more than he could handle.

Holdsclaw: All right. I'm here with my friend Ron Artest. You know Ron Ron, as I know him.

World Peace: Absolutely.

Holdsclaw: And we're sitting here, we're a long ways from Queens, New York. But it's still in our hearts, you know?

World Peace: Absolutely.

Holdsclaw: And, I just really want us to just like, close our eyes and think back, you know?

World Peace: Absolutely.

Holdsclaw: Think back to our days in Queens. We grew up probably five miles from each other.

World Peace: About that. It was about that.

Holdsclaw: So Astoria is on one end, Astoria Housing Projects. We had Ravenswood in the middle...

World Peace: Yep.

Holdsclaw: And Queensbridge is at the end, closest to Manhattan. Right?

World Peace: Yeah.

Holdsclaw: So, you know how we did the circuit, it was like stop at DS Park during the summer. And there was this kid that everybody was scared of. He was like the enforcer. Man, you were out there, man. Big-bodying people. And so, you had to be like, I guess, what is it nine?

World Peace: I was nine or 10.

Holdsclaw: Yeah, nine.

World Peace: 'Cause Lamar was playing, too, out there.

Holdsclaw: Yeah, yeah. Lamar was out there. And I remember your dad everywhere with that damn backpack.

World Peace: Yeah.

Holdsclaw: Those string ones we used to carry. You know, he was there. And so, as we look back, I remember, you know, you out there being an enforcer. I also remember, I started hearing a guy saying, "Man, he's going to be a pro." You know, "He has this like, NBA body," or whatever.

Talk about your days. Like your day to day, inside your household.

World Peace: Yeah, it was a lot of us. So, my mom was the type to always bring people in. So, it was 10 of us.

Holdsclaw: And how big was that apartment?

World Peace: Well, we lived on 10th Street. We lived on the fifth floor. We lived in a three-bedroom or two-bedroom. So we was deep up in there. And then, everybody started to have babies. Then Quan came, Junior came, and we moved... That house burned down. So then, we was in a shelter for like, maybe two weeks. A week.

Holdsclaw: Right, OK.

World Peace: Going all over the place. Everybody's just going to family. And then they found us a place back in Queensbridge.

Holdsclaw: OK.

World Peace: A one-bedroom. So then we all moved to the one-bedroom.

Holdsclaw: OK. So you're in it. How did it feel? Again, looking back, right. Like, trying to develop and grow as a person with your family. Did you feel like sometimes you couldn't breathe?

World Peace: Everything's confusing, 'cause like, when that dysfunction is happening in the household, it just started getting real confusing at that point. And it was like, you're not leaving the house happy.

Holdsclaw: Right.

World Peace: You know what I'm saying? So, I think my anger or my aggression came from my household. It didn't really come from the streets 'cause I wasn't really in the streets.

Holdsclaw: Right.

World Peace: That just, you know, led me to have like a "I don't care" attitude most of the time. It's really hard for parents to get along sometimes, you know?

Holdsclaw: Yeah.

World Peace: I think if my parents would've stayed together, I definitely would have been totally different. I would've still been playing ball, but I would've been able to handle things a little bit easier.

Holdsclaw: Yeah.

World Peace: But when my dad and mom, when they faced adversity, they split up. And that's how you deal with adversity. You know, you don't really handle it.

Holdsclaw: Right.

World Peace: Right. So...

Holdsclaw: You know, they tell you your household's dysfunctional and things like that. But like you said, only thing you want is like your mom and dad. You want that love and support.

So, when did you know like basketball was gonna be your career?

World Peace: Man, you know, I didn't know I was going to be good. I remember playing in a three-on-three Sprite Tournament. You probably played in the one year.

Holdsclaw: Yeah, I did [laughs].

World Peace: And, I remember playing and I had my team. Everybody's trying to get they teams together. And we lost. I think it was... we might have lost to Nijibi and maybe those guys. And then, I remember crying on the monkey bars. They used to have the monkey bars on 12th Street.

Holdsclaw: Aw man.

World Peace: And then I just, you know, I had nothing else to do. I was upset. I went back home and I just kept playing. My dad kept me on the court.

Holdsclaw: So when you was starting out, you finding basketball -- that was like an escape for me. That was like my safety, my coping mechanism. Did you realize you had any mental health issues?

World Peace: I knew I was always upset. I knew... It was a couple of things that got me upset. Like, you know, sometimes people could bully you. And then, I remember like, if you getting bullied or somebody bothering you, maybe it's like a gangster or a kid that's known for fighting. And you know the kids that's known for fighting, right? So you ain't gonna really mess with those kids, you know?

So I remember a couple of times, like, people just backing me down. And I'm tall and I'm big, but I'm not a fighter at that point. But when you dealing with these type of kids, eventually, you grow immune to it and you just have that "I don't care" attitude. It becomes like, normal for you to have these crazy attitudes and these outbursts. And it's not mental health issues at that point.

Holdsclaw: Yeah.

World Peace: It's just, "I'm going outside. If I have to fight, I am."

Holdsclaw: Survival, right? It's survival. Man, especially where we come from. You know, it was majority minorities in our neighborhood. So it was like--

World Peace: Before it was Black and Latino.

Holdsclaw: Latino.

World Peace: That was it.

Holdsclaw: But I remember when my grandmother noticed I needed some therapy, right? I went in -- so I see all this brown around me -- and I go in, and it's the preppy white guy trying to get me to talk. You know, culturally I'm like, "Man, I'm not opening up to you."

World Peace: Me too. Me too.

Holdsclaw: That's what I was going to say. What was it like?

World Peace: My social, he a social worker. He was white. White guy.

Holdsclaw: So how was that going in there when we're, you know, like, you're not used to seeing that face all the time.

World Peace: You know how I was used to it? Because like... Hold on. I was 13 years old, so at that time, I already played for Artie Cox.

Holdsclaw: Oh, OK.

World Peace: And Bob Reese from the Reese Center was white.

Holdsclaw: OK.

World Peace: Yeah. So some of our biggest mentors were white guys.

Holdsclaw: Really? Oh, we didn't see, we didn't have that in Astoria.

World Peace: In Astoria. Yeah. Yeah, y'all didn't have...

Holdsclaw: So you felt good talking to him and opening up?

World Peace: I did. I knew something was wrong. I knew something was wrong at 13 years old. 'Cause usually, my mom would take someone to the M.D., medical doctor. So most of my brothers always go on medication. She decided to take me to a social worker, which is not even a psychologist, like a social worker before it's like, you know, the next step. And then, she could have easily took me to the hospital and put me on medication. I was close.

Holdsclaw: Wow. So, man, this started... OK, so you knew early that there was something wrong.

World Peace: I knew I had something...

Holdsclaw: Like you had always the resources. What was it? Was it that hard head or the fear?

World Peace: I was hardheaded. I was also... I mean, I think I was just very rebellious. 'Cause, you know, we was a drug hub for..

Holdsclaw: Yeah, Queensbridge.

World Peace: Everything flowed through Queensbridge.

Holdsclaw: Yeah. Right there.

World Peace: So people would come in there, they're not from the neighborhood and the drugs infested. So you know, people was trying to keep people out, those shootout type things. So you become like immune to... Or you become attached to other like gang-affiliated people.You gotta attach yourself to somebody.

Holdsclaw: Right.

World Peace: 'Cause in Queensbridge it was like every block had a different crew.

Holdsclaw: Yeah.

World Peace: So, it was like you always had to walk around kind of hard. Like, "If somebody tests me today, you know, either it's going to be a fight or I'm going to go back on my block and tell my people something happened and we gonna get it poppin'," you know?

And it was always... it was that and then like that don't leave you. And I'm a basketball player and I got this stupid-- And I got this mentality. It's like, I love basketball and that's why I feel like I would have had a better career if things were... If I would have had a little bit more stability and just focus on the game 'cause I always want to fight it. And I'm on the court, ain't nobody to fight on the court. There's nothing going down. This is basketball. What was you mad about? You know? But I just couldn't. I was never able to just focus on the court 100%.

Holdsclaw [VO]: Even with all the chaos around us, everyone in the neighborhood knew Ron was going to make it to the NBA. And he did! He got drafted by the Chicago Bulls when he was 19.

Holdsclaw: I guess like, looking at you guys, I just felt like, this may be a lot. Like you said, "too soon." Like, are you ready? Because you know you guys comin' up in New York like, Lamar, yourself. You guys were Riverside. It was a dynasty. You know what I'm saying? I just always worried about you guys, and your support and stability.

World Peace: But there wasn't a lot of people there to kind of prepare us for what's going to happen. You know, you're about to enter a phase where this is what you go to college for. You go to college for a job, you know, so we skipped the whole college part. We skipped the whole intern working part. Just skipped all the necessities and the fundamentals you need to sustain a job.

So we just went right to the money [laughs]. Two years ago, your mom was in control of your life. You don't know anything. And, now, you pretty much in control of your life. So, that can be tough for anyone. I see why people struggle some time[s].

Holdsclaw: Right.

World Peace: And for me it was just like, OK, "I'm bringing like $1,000 bottles of Hennessy back." Nineteen years old, "Everybody! We drinking the best Hennessy tonight!" You know, just trippin'.

Holdsclaw: And the people around you, you know what I'm saying? You know how it is. Like, I used to have all the neighborhood guys like, "Yo!" They knew I was good. Right? So, again, "Hey you need some shoes? You need some Jordans? Where you going? You gotta represent." And my grandmother was like, "Don't you take anything from anybody!"

World Peace: Really, huh?

Holdsclaw: Oh man, she was like threatening me. I was like, "OK, OK. I got you." 'Cause you know how it is when that's there, those are people that support you.

World Peace: They support you though. Yeah, they support you.

Holdsclaw: So, I know like, I ran into you before and I'm like, "Damn, you got this entourage?" I'm like, really? All these people and you're like...

World Peace: Yeah [laughs]. You know it happens like that. You just, you know, friends that was, maybe they was your friends, but not enough to be with you every single day. But sometimes you feel... You know when you're from the 'hood you just feel like you need people around. You be lonely. And I got drafted, moved to Chicago in Deerfield, Highland Park, like, "This is lonely." You need your people around you, but that's not the best thing. For anyone.

Holdsclaw: It's not.

World Peace: They're not working. They're not doing nothing.

Holdsclaw: Living off of you.

World Peace: It's not a bad thing. It's just the enabling thing. It's a very enabling thing.

Holdsclaw: Yeah. You know, everybody has to like figure out their path. But, when you're in that position... And I know I used to keep people around me, just to quiet the thoughts in my head, you know. To supply comfort.

World Peace: I agree. I know. I know. It's so much going through my head at 23-24.

Holdsclaw: Damn, it's like that.

World Peace: It was crazy.

Holdsclaw: That internal battle, people don't get it.

World Peace: It was, it was unbelievable, man. It was the toughest thing I had to deal with ever.

Holdsclaw: And you know, people don't understand, like they look at these amazing athletes and like you gotta still deal with like friends, the pressure of fame, and if you're in relationships... 'Cause I know me. Like, sometimes I'll just be like, "F**k!" Like, I'm having temper tantrums and things like that.

World Peace: I had a lot of temper tantrums.

Holdsclaw: But then I go into the public and it's like, "Oh, man. Hey, how you doing?"

World Peace: I know. I know. It's two different people.

Holdsclaw: Two different people.

World Peace: It's true.

Holdsclaw: Like, "Man, who are you?" And it gets to a point, for me, you don't really recognize yourself. It's almost like people-pleasing. You changing a coat every day.

World Peace: A lot of times I look in the mirror and I'm like, "I don't want to look at that guy." Plenty of times. I'm like, "You snake, lyin'..." [Both laugh.] You know what I'm sayin'? "You bad person, you." [Both laugh.] Seriously, you look at yourself in the mirror, that reflection is amazing.

Holdsclaw: Amazing.

World Peace: But you gotta, you ask yourself questions like, "What you gonna do? What you gonna do?"

Holdsclaw [VO]: More in a minute. Hold tight.

[Mid-roll break.]

Holdsclaw [VO]: In this half, I wanna let you know that Ron and I will talk about suicidal thoughts. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can text the word HOME to 741-741, or call 1-800-273-TALK.

Holdsclaw: When you came to L.A., I remember you came to check out-- you came to my game. I was going through it at that time, like mentally.

World Peace: I didn't even know. That's crazy.... 'Cause you think everything's fine. You think everything's cool.

Holdsclaw: You put on that front.

World Peace: Yeah, you put on that front.

Holdsclaw: But I'm driving, leaving the Marina, driving to the old practice facility. And I'm driving, only thing I was like, think[ing] about crashing my car. Like jumping off a building.

World Peace: Me... I had that thought, too, one time.

Holdsclaw: Really? What point in your career was this?

World Peace: 2001. Chicago.

Holdsclaw: Chicago.

World Peace: Yeah. I didn't think about like, jumping off a building or killing myself, but I had a nervous breakdown-- I had a mental... nervous breakdown. Nervous breakdown. Yeah. On the highway. On the 90. Stopped the car over on the shoulder. On the left side, not even the right side, left side. I remember I was just...

Holdsclaw: Were you by yourself?

World Peace: I was by myself.

Holdsclaw: Was it like an anxiety attack? Like how do you... Explain it.

World Peace: I was just so stressed. It was my rookie year. And I'm getting in a lot of trouble at this point. Like family trouble. Like, out all the time. So, I'm like, "I'm really like ruining everything right now."

At that point, I couldn't let things happen, I could only think about the worst. Only thought about the worst things happening. Worst possible scenarios, you know? And, yeah, I just couldn't deal with it. I just broke down. And I was drinking a lot of alcohol. I thought at that point, I thought you drink alcohol and things get better.

Holdsclaw: Man, it's masking. It's masking [laughs].

World Peace: I thought it was supposed to get better, not worse.

Holdsclaw: You know you calm down. It gets crazy out there.

World Peace: Good lord!

Holdsclaw: All types of thoughts. You wake up the next day, the damn problem still there.

World Peace: Still there. Ain't going nowhere. Smoke a little marijuana, drink some Hennessy, and you expect everything to get better.

Holdsclaw [VO]: Ron was a dominant player in his early years in the NBA. But there were also huge problems. He got suspended. He got in fights. His family life wasn't going so good either. By 2004, he was playing for the Indiana Pacers. One night they're in Detroit playing the Pistons. Forty five seconds left in the game...

[Sports announcer from archive footage]: And Wallace is fouled. And Wallace-- oh! Wallace right at Artest. This has potential to be serious if they don't get between. Wallace upset. Players trying to hold each other off.

Holdsclaw [VO]: It starts to wind down. But a fan throws a drink at Ron. It lands right on Ron's chest... and Ron goes after him.

[Sports announcer from archive footage]: Now Artest has jumped over the scorer's table and is trying to get down to the bench! Artest is in the stands...

Holdsclaw [VO]: It was chaos. Nothing like this has ever happened in the NBA.

[Sports announcer from archive footage]: Ron Artest has a look in his eye that's very scary right now.

Holdsclaw [VO]: The game gets called off. Ron is suspended 86 games. It cost him almost $5 million in pay.

[Sports announcers from archive footage]: That's one of the worst scenes I've ever seen. A low moment in NBA history...

Holdsclaw: I remember, I started getting all these phone calls. You know, New York Times. Daily News. "Can you talk about Ron?" And I just remember saying, "Man, Ron is like, the nicest guy. You know, he's always smiling... Like the coolest person." People are judging you, so I'm defensive.

World Peace: Yeah. I would, too. I would be, too.

Holdsclaw: I'm like, "Man, he's a smart guy." 'Cause they want to label us, you know, because of your past. So, what do you think people did not know about that situation? Is there anything they didn't know?

World Peace: That situation in Detroit was just somebody just hit me. I would never let nobody hit me for no reason. And you get tired of it. Like I said, if I grew up in the suburbs or somewhere else, and I'd never seen nobody react how I reacted, maybe I don't react like that. Maybe I'm just like, "This guy just hit me. Somebody do something." But at this point it's like, "Nah, I'll just handle it myself. I don't need security to do anything. I can handle myself."

Holdsclaw: Yeah. I know for me, like when I went through my incident in Atlanta, I know how it affected me. It forced me to like, work on me. What, what did the incident in Detroit do to you mentally?

World Peace: That incident didn't really do much 'cause I couldn't control somebody throwing something. I didn't tell that guy to throw something at me. So, it was everything else.

Holdsclaw: OK.

World Peace: It was like a lot of other things... The demons, you got so many demons. I just fighting them all the time, you know what I'm saying? And quite honestly, I wasn't ready for the NBA. Definitely not. I wasn't ready to make that much money so early. I knew nothing. I had my family at this point. And I was still trying to keep my family together.

Holdsclaw: Right.

World Peace: My daughter was already maybe six years old, maybe eight years old when the brawl happened. I was trying to focus on family, career, it was like so much.

Holdsclaw: You said you were always upset about things on the court. If you think back, what were the things that you were upset about?

World Peace: I think definitely the family. I was always upset about the situation I put myself through. And I felt like I couldn't get control. So, it's like, "I know I'm doing wrong. Just do better now."

But it's too much more wrong to do. And I can never get a hold of it. And I can never get control of being a family man. And it kept spiraling out of control, spiraling out of control. I think that's where the bulk of things came from. It was caused by me. You know, you gotta make a little money, you can do more and then, you get in more trouble.

Holdsclaw [VO]: A few years later, Ron was traded to Sacramento. Things were spiraling. And he was arrested in 2007 for domestic violence.

Holdsclaw: You're in Sacramento. You know, you had the incident with your ex. How was your mindset?

World Peace: A lot of it was it had to do with me. And then Kimsha, you know, she was a major part of my life. So when something's not going right there, I don't really care about anything else. Then I start self-destructing. We were so attached, and we had this relationship where both of us wasn't prepared. And I never let her grow, you know?

So it was... I couldn't imagine what she was going through. So our relationship just... It was fractured from every, every angle. So, Sacramento is tough 'cause I knew like this just cannot keep happening. I'm fitting to lose my family on top of my career. There was a lot going on.

Holdsclaw [VO]: Things had to change, and Ron knew it. He was traded to Houston. Then the Lakers picked him up when he became a free agent.

Holdsclaw: Then you come to L.A. Man, they probably wasn't having that. So what was that like? You're like, "I gotta get it together, Ron."

World Peace: You know, at that point, when I got here [Los Angeles], they wasn't afraid of me. A lot teams was afraid. I didn't have no options. Teams was like, "No. That's it. I do not want Metta. Ron Artest."

Holdsclaw: Lakers was the only team? Really?

World Peace: It was the only team. Literally. I was 29, I'm in my prime, OK? Just averaged 22 against the Lakers in the playoffs. That's a max contract. I couldn't get one job. Everybody was like, "Nah, nah, nah. We're good. We're good." 'Cause like, I was such a bad teammate. Ugh.

Holdsclaw [VO]: After a long time of just trying to push through his demons, Ron was finally getting reliable help. The judge ordered him to get therapy after his arrest. And he stuck with it. In 2010, the Lakers won the NBA title. And here's Ron, right after the game -- thanking his therapist.

[World Peace in archive clip]: I definitely want to thank my doctor, Dr. Santhi, my psychiatrist. She really helped me relax a lot. Thank you so much.

World Peace: When I met Dr. Santhi, the lady I thanked on the championship... And she, on the couch, she taught me how to breathe and it was really cool. I really got into it. And then when I started to learn how to breathe, then I started to like, read more about breathing and meditation. I started to fall in love with it.

You know, in our neighborhoods, we Baptist and that's it. That's all we have is, you know, we never had any other tools or resources. And meditation and breathing was something that I fell in love with. And it was helping me. It was helping. And I still get edgy, I still do my little... get in trouble every now and then, but I feel happier.

Holdsclaw: Yeah, that's it. I always take that like 10 seconds when I feel my anxiety. Just like, just breathe.

World Peace: They used to say five seconds. I'm like, "Five seconds not enough for me."

Holdsclaw: Right. Right. I know I need 10. Maybe 20, maybe 20 sometimes. Zero to a hundred real, real, real quick.

World Peace: After the five I start questioning things [both laugh].

Holdsclaw [VO]: There's no one magic solution for facing your mental health issues. It's about time -- and finding what works for you.

Holdsclaw: So, Metta [laughs]... still sounds weird.

World Peace: I know, right?

Holdsclaw: Why do you think meditation's worked so well for you?

World Peace: I think meditation work because it gives you another tool to relax when there's some adversity. To think, and then not to react over all emotion, which is really hard to do. So, I think meditation is great. It gives you a chance to really just empower yourself in a calm manner and in a stable manner, you know?

And that's what life is about, for the most part. When you meditate and you just focus on one thing. Focus on your breath. I mean, you're really thinking good things. You're not meditating, thinking, "I'm going to punch this person in the face." You know? "Punch this guy in head." It's like, "Relax. Everything's good."

Holdsclaw: Yeah, so you said how anger fueled you. Took your competitiveness to another level. Now, minus that, how do you think it would have impacted you on the court?

World Peace: I don't know if I would have been able to dig as deep, 'cause I always would work hard and then when I get tired, would give up. Then I would say, "OK, do you enjoy dying?" I would say, "Yes. Just die." Right? Right. And I just want to take it to the point where I want my lungs to explode. When I'm working out in training, like I would just find everything that's bad that ever happened to me in my life. And that would fuel me. But at the same time, I believe that meditation fuels you better.

I personally feel a stable basketball player is always the best basketball player. Not one fueled with anger. You know, some people said that my anger helped me and it worked against me. I believe it just worked against me. I don't believe it helped.

Holdsclaw [VO]: For so long, I thought I was the only one going through these things. I'm not. We need to keep talking about mental health. That's what this show is about. Thanks for listening. We'll be back next time with Briana Scurry. She's one of the greatest soccer goalies ever.

Briana Scurry: There's a feeling, and you know this as an athlete, where you know your body in a way that is almost the energy of it. Like, you can feel that you're connected to your abilities. And this hit disconnected me from all of that. And it was almost like I lost who I was from it.

Tremendous Upside is a production of American Public Media. I'm your host Chamique Holdsclaw. John Moe created the show. Phyllis Fletcher is our editor. Producers include Kryssy Pease, Tracy Mumford and Kristina Lopez. Our recording engineer is Jay Siebold. Corey Schreppel mixed this episode. Our theme song is by Riley Mackin.