Crisis management is what got Keyon Dooling here, as an NBA voice of hope amid this pandemic.


It was an upbringing in Fort Lauderdale, time at Dillard and Cardinal Gibbons high schools and later with the Miami Heat, that shaped him for this moment, a path that included dealing with sexual abuse as a youth and time in a psychiatric hospital as an adult.


Now, the retired guard is the voice on the other end of the phone for NBA players, who, for all their wealth and notoriety, are as human as he was during his moments of reaching for a lifeline.


This might not have been what Dooling signed up for as a wellness counselor for the National Basketball Players Association, dealing with the emotional side of this battle with the new coronavirus, but it is where the league has led him, from a career that began as the No. 10 pick out of Missouri by the Orlando Magic in the 2000 NBA draft.


"A lot of guys still have traumas to the past stored, things that they're carrying along with them," Dooling said by phone. "And so it's a good opportunity to unpack some of that negative energy we have stored."


It is why the former teammate of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal will be speaking with players on conference calls and video chats, attempting to allay concerns and deal with fears of the unknown.


"I'm concerned not only for the athletes," the veteran of 13 seasons and 10 teams said, "but I'm concerned for everybody, really, about their mental and emotional health, especially during this time when we really have no control."


It is those types of times that Dooling said prepared him for this moment, the sexual abuse as a youth that led to his public revelations on the set of Katie Couric's national television show nearly a decade ago, the time that Celtics coach Doc Rivers visited him in that Boston psychiatric ward after Dooling had committed himself.


And it is the resurrection that led to this role with the players' union, spending time in the Heat locker room earlier this season, as well as with players around the league.


And then, on March 11, it all stopped, with players told days later that isolation was essential for their physical well-being.


When he walked away from the game in 2013, Dooling, now 39, said he was at peace with the decision, but still found it challenging. And that, he said, was nothing like this.


"At the end of your career," he said, "there's the uncertainties when basketball is taken away from you and you don't have that routine and that structure. So I know from my own experience how that impacted me – the silence.


"When we do something well, we get applause, patting on the back. You pay a bill at the house right now, you ain't getting a pat on the back for that. So, I think, there's a lot of factors that athletes now have to deal with that are new for a lot of current players."


Dooling makes clear that none of this is woe-is-we. Even during his darkest days, he had the resources of the NBA at his disposal, just as he now dispenses them from his job with the players' association.


But his point, from a mental-health standpoint, is that this new normal is not normal for anyone.


"Not having the access to a routine every day can be challenging," he said. "Because we travel and we move around so much, we get stimulated being on the move. So I'm not over-worried about anybody or under-worried. I think I'm concerned for us all.


"And us, as athletes, when we don't work out, our bodies can have a reaction. It can affect our sleep patterns, our mood, et cetera. So I encourage everybody to find a routine, try to do some physical activity every day, try to do things to calm their mind, whether it's meditating, praying, listening to some stimulating music."


He paused, and then addressed what anyone, NBA athlete, fan, otherwise, needs most right now.


"But more so than anything, still being social," he said. "Reach out, talk to someone, your family, or, in our case, catch up with a former teammate. Stay social."