Justise Winslow Becomes Latest Star to Open Up About Mental Health Issues

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Miami Heat swingman Justise Winslow has bounced back from past problems to have his best season yet in the NBA. A more positive mindset that embraces mental health is part of the reason, with the four-year player now offering advice to other players.

Winslow spoke on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Monday about what he would say to players who are dealing with the pressure of playing in the NBA. He emphasized that patience is a key facet.

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“Just don’t change and just try to enjoy the smallest of joy and happiness in your life,” said Winslow. “For me, just waking up early, seeing the sun, that makes my day, that makes me happy. Just enjoying the little things and seeing the big picture. For me, I wanted everything to happen right when I got drafted that year, but it’s a process. You have to take those steps to get through your process and that’s something I had to understand that things aren’t just going to happen overnight.”

Winslow was the 10th overall selection in the 2015 draft out of Duke University, but saw his career stall during his second season. That was because of an injury that limited him to just 18 games for the year. While he returned last season, he then watched his point and assists numbers drop.

Back in January, Winslow spoke about the off-the-court problems he had in trying to come back. However, after having agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Heat in October, Winslow has put together his best season yet.

He’s averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists, starting in 46 of the 59 games he’s played in this season. A number of those starts were to replace the injured Goran Dragic, with the 22-year-old Winslow showing promise for the future.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.