Cavaliers' star Kevin Love said team therapy improved chemistry and focus

Cavaliers' star Kevin Love said team therapy improved chemistry and focus
Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images
  • Kevin Love said the team therapist Mayur Pandya helped them build focus and chemistry this year.
  • He said his team was open to working with Pandya after DeMar DeRozan talked about his mental health.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' veteran star Kevin Love said team therapy played a big role in team chemistry and focus this season.

Love told Insider Cavaliers players started to work with the team's therapist, Mayur Pandya, and that helped their game improve overall.

"Boosting mental performance and resilience is the reason we are here today," Love said in an interview to discuss his partnership with Cove, a wearable device that loops over the ears and delivers subtle vibrations, intended to induce a sense of calm.

"We're all much better for it and having these conversations, and having Dr. Pandya taking the time, and for the organization understanding that it's important."

Pandya was hired by the Cavaliers just before the 2018-19 season, but Love said players didn't prioritize working with him much until this year.


Love said his teammates became more comfortable working with Pandya after the Chicago Bulls' star point guard DeMar DeRozan publicly opened up about his struggles with mental health in June in an Instagram post, which Love said helped normalize mental-health treatment for NBA stars.

Love added that other star athletes had helped shed light on the importance of mental health for himself and his teammates, including the Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who opened up about his depression in a 2020 interview, the US women's gymnastics star Simone Biles, who withdrew from competitions at the Tokyo Olympics over mental-health concerns, and the former Ohio State football player Harry Miller, who quit his team because of severe depression and burnout.

"As an athlete, my mental state has a direct effect on my physical performance. I am still expected to perform no matter what else may be going on in life, but I think we can all relate to that in some way, because we are all going through something" said Love.

Love said he uses Cove to improve his sleep and his ability to rebound from stress. The partnership aims to raise awareness about what you can accomplish when you're feeling better and living in a better state of mind, and will help raise money for the Kevin Love Fund, which works to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing tools for both mental and physical health.

Cavaliers players worked with Pandya in 2 groups and practiced meditative treatments

Love said the Cavaliers worked with Pandya in both individual and group sessions. He told Insider the team was split into two groups and each group featured both veterans and younger players.


"Everybody has their own journey and mental-health journey, but we're not meant to go through this alone," Love said. "Having diversity within our group, how we grew up, where we were born, socioeconomic status, wherever we may be, I think there's a lot of problem-solving there."

Love said meditation and therapy helped the players sharpen their mental focus, resilience, and chemistry. Love said he discovered meditation in 2017, when the James-led Cavaliers were in the middle of four straight seasons in which they made it to the NBA Finals.