Former NBA star Ben Gordon says he wanted to commit suicide in Players Tribute article
In a riveting story for The Players’ Tribune, former NBA player Ben Gordon opened up about his mental health during and after an 11-season NBA career with four different teams including the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets.
According to the story, Gordon thought about taking his own life on multiple occasions after his playing days finished following his 2014-15 season with the Orlando Magic.
“So, the only thing left to do was to get out of purgatory. I was obsessed with killing myself. It’s all I researched, all I thought about. One night my panic attacks got so bad that all I could think about was escape. Man, I’m telling you….. you become like an animal. It’s instinctive,” Gordon said in his Players’ Tribune article.
Across those 11 seasons in the NBA, Gordon averaged 14.9 points per game, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists along with a sterling 40.1 percent from three. Gordon even won a Sixth Man of the Year award in his rookie season in the league with the Bulls by averaging 16.9 points per game in 30.1 minutes of action.
However, throughout all of this, Gordon was suffering on the inside, and when his career ended, his mental health deteriorated rapidly according to his story in the Tribune:
“My whole career, I was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But now that I don’t have basketball anymore, the wolf is coming out. Now I don’t care about cutting my hair anymore. Now I don’t care about shaving. Now I don’t care about anything except the thoughts inside my head.”
Gordon ends his powerful story with a simple truth: “Mental illness touches everybody. Every community, every person. Either you or somebody you love is going to be touched by it at some point… I hope [this story] helps somebody out there. If you’re f***ing with this story, don’t do what I did. Get some help. Because you’re not crazy, dog. You’re not damaged. You’re just human like the rest of us.”