Although drafted 10th overall in 2015 after a national title win with Duke in the NCAA, Justice Winslow (26) had a rocky start in the NBA, with varied stints in Miami, Memphis and the Clippers.
In Portland for a year, he admits that he reached a certain maturity, but he admits that he experienced a difficult period, marked by the disease of alcohol and the night world. Against a backdrop of latent depression…
“I want to feel sorry for myself. I have more or less made myself into this loser that is always going to stay at the bottom of the hole.he revealed to The Athletic.
His brother Josh proved it. In this case, he was alerted by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra himself who, after a videoconference, was surprised to find Winslow unshaven and covered in coal tar.
“Spo was the first to contact me. He had just been with Justise and it looked like he hadn’t shaved or left his room in weeks. Everyone on the team wondered where the young player we drafted was. He fell to the dark side, sure. »
With a shoulder injury in his second season, Justise Winslow is starting to get off track. Disturbed at the same time by some revelations within his family, a family that was broken after the divorce of his parents when he was only three years old, he gradually sinks into a dangerous task, in the Bermuda triangle of night, wine and women. In Miami, to boot…
“Being a lottery pick drafted so high, there were a lot of expectations. I’m definitely not the savior but D. Wade is going to pass the torch to me in Miami really. It suits me, and my family as well because a lot of positive things will succeed D. Wade, performances, sponsors, events…”
Four hours of fighting with his brother…
But left to his own devices during his injury, Justise Winslow admitted to making a mistake. Too egocentric and self-contained, he isolated himself.
“I’ve done things I’m not proud of. In my personal relationships, in my family, or in my self-imposed isolation… There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. With the drink, with the nights during the off-season, I was on a slippery slope. I had developed a routine and I got caught up in it, it almost ate me up. »
So one fine summer day, on a paradise island for a week with his brother Josh, the two brothers fought for a long time. Justise Winslow explains that the Homeric confrontation lasted about four hours, with certain breaks…
“We were shirtless, sand in our teeth, in our mouths, in our hair. Scratches, bruises, blows… We were really trying to put ourselves on the ground, we were screaming, shouting, cursing! »Juste Winslow recalled. “We rested,” Josh added. “I told him to drink, but I didn’t let him finish. I think he is sick the next day. »
The fight, however, served as a wake-up call for the brothers, aware that their lives had been derailed. Josh entered rehab to treat his marijuana addiction. Justise really realized the bad times he was going through. A cathartic duel.
Back in the saddle with some memorable travel experiences, including one with surfer Laird Hamilton (Joakim Noah’s great friend) and Erik Spoelstra among others, Justise Winslow has found more serenity and stability in his life. Being a father in the meantime, the versatile winger is more composed than ever.
“I look at his stats after every game,” Erik Spoelstra admitted. “Because he is one of the guys I will continue to follow. All players have their own trajectory, and it is not linear. »
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