Thursday, July 13, 2023


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My Philosophy was a very simple one. This is where I think film plays a big part of my life. Rudy was one of my favorite films growing up. But after watching that film, I came to understand. If I could work that hard every day with being blessed with my physical tools, what would my career be? 

I made a promise to myself from that day, that I was going to work that hard every single day so that when I do retire, I have no regrets. And that was the most important thing for me - is to leave no stone unturned. Get better every single day, and if I live that way, then over time you know I'd have something that was beautiful. 

But that was my philosophy. It seems pretty simple, but you know, if you live your life just to get better every single day, does that for 20 years. I mean, what do you have? Yeah, well, Phil introduced meditation to us when he came probably to our team in 1999, 2000. It was something that I instantly gravitated to, because I could see the effects. 

I used to watch, you know, studying the games. The Bulls teams and watching their demeanour, watching their composure, playing in a tough place in like Utah doing the finals and being down 17. But everybody was like, I couldn't tell if they were down 17 or up 20 or tie game, never changed. And I was wondering why the hell that is. 

That's why I started doing more research and when Phil came, I immediately gravitated to it and found myself accepted the challenge of finding what that space is and for the 81 point game. And to be honest, I wasn't even thinking about the game. 

My knee was hurting so much I didn't know then, but you know I had a flap of joint of cartilage stuck in my joint line, and so my mind was really trying to go to a place where I don't feel that pain. And the game started. Because of that, I was just in a different space. I wasn't worried about what was to come.

I was worried about what just happened. I was just here, and when you're just there in the moment playing plays right in front of you. Your focus is heightened because nothing else matters. Well, I mean her, what practice was important for me. Not just a standpoint that I enjoyed playing like I enjoyed being there, I enjoyed getting better, but as a leader of a team.

It's also your responsibility to elevate the rest of the guns, and tend to get stuck on a lot, saying: "okay, the way to make players better is the passing the ball when they're open." It's a very trivial way to look at things. What you have to do is you have to get them emotionally to want to be better. You want you have to get them to an emotional space where they wake up every morning, driven to be the best version of themselves, right? 

How do you do that in practice? For me, was a chance to drive them, to challenge them. And this is where you have to know your teammates. Because if it's late, you just had back-to-back and we had practice the next day, and you show up, and guys don't feel like going through the motions, don't feel like practising. 

It's important to know each and every one of them individually, personally. Because then you know with the nerve to touch some guys. It's like, "okay, come on. You know we can do this." That'll get them going. Other guys, you got to figure out what button to push, you know. Pau was always Spain. If I tell them how they lost and gold medal to us and how they're going to lose again. How I'm going to beat your ass in practice? Just like I beat you in a gold medal game, oh that, he'd hate that.

But that's what practice was. You have to drive them, you absolutely have to. And if the practice is more intense and harder, then a game seven will be easy. But if it's not, then that's when teams start folding and capitulating.

You know, I always dreamed as a kid that, you know was possible to score 80 or 90 or 100. I always had a dream. Like sometimes you lay down in bed, and you visualize things. You just kind of, you know just that's all. That's at least how I would go to sleep. But lay down, I'd imagine playing for the Lakers. And I would imagine with the uniforms look like. I'd imagine we would be playing, and you know, the smell of the arena and all sorts of stuff.

And I would see myself getting hot. You know, scored 10 straight points and then, but in the dream-like, why would you ever interrupt that. You're not going to have a dream and be like, okay, then he misses his next six. Like it's not going to happen. So you just keep dreaming and dreaming and dreaming. And before I go to sleep, I'm like at 120 points, and so and so. 

When you grow up downloading that into your brain, over and over and over. Then you know that summer I made a thousand shots a day thousand right. That's on top of weight training and my conditioning. I made a thousand shots, and it wasn't just shots. It was shots that you saw in that game. There were specific shots, I mean, it was coming out of the corner going to the pinch post footwork in the post coming off the screen. It was very specific.

So when you download that into your system and go out into the court. You're just executing things that you've done thousands of times before. And you have that dream, that becomes possible. That would be the way you would express it, sure. Well, no, I mean, that's the trick. Isn't it's finding what you love to do when we talk about hard work all the time? 

It's like, man. If you got to get up every single morning and remind yourself how hard you need to work, you probably choose a different profession. You know, that shouldn't be there, because I wake up excited to get to. If I'm not training, I'm missing it. I'm not watching the game of basketball. I miss it. You know, there's no place I'd rather be, and if you have that feeling, then you're truly doing what God has put you on this Earth to do.

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