Ex-NBA player Alex Abrines played all of his three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but due to mental health problems left the league and is now playing for Barcelona in Spain. When Abrines was apart of the team, he said Westbrook was probably the best teammate he ever had who helped him tremendously.
In an interview for Movistar+, Abrines said Westbrook had a big impact on him simply because he understood what he was going through and offered his help. Westbrook would do different things with Abrines like taking him out to dinner to see how he is doing because of mayor problems Abrines had with the pressure that was over his head.
“He’s a very nice guy. He helped me a lot especially in the first year” he mentioned referring to Westbrook, “In most of our trips we did something together, watch a movie, have dinner. When I went through all this and did not travel with the team, he kept in touch. He asked me to meet him for dinner. He cared for the person beyond the player. He calmly told me what I should do noting that he would support me if I decided to leave.”
Abrines also said how people don’t understand the amount of pressure athletes face on a daily basis, both physically and mentally. During these times, money also doesn’t help according to Abrines and believes people should be in that type of situation to understand what he is talking about.
“Athletes are normal people, but are pressured above average. Medication helps, but at the end of the day you must seek professional aid, discuss with friends and family, move forward with their support” adds Abrines on his illness, “It is a different kind of pain. Physical pain is something you can see and feel. Mental pain can not be observed and can not be treated like an injured knee for example. If you don’t go through something similar, you can’t realize it. In the end of the day, money is not above everything. Until it happens, you don’t realize that you don’t give a shit about money.”