Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Mamba Mentality

Reading Time: 5m 26s


When I retired from the game, I said, there asking kind of all the wrong questions. And what's the biggest industry I can get into, and it's all the wrong stuff. And you got to sit there and ask yourself, "what am I truly passionate about? What do I enjoy doing?" When you feel that way, honestly, I mean you feel like you have never worked a day in your life. It's the most fun thing in the world.

You get up in the morning, excited about what you're doing. And you got to be really honest with yourself about it. Wake up in the morning, and you're dreading going to work. "Dude, do something else, do something else", and those, are hard decisions to make. But when you make those decisions, it's a very liberating experience. You'll find out that the rewards will come.

Q:  After your injury, you said this,
A:  You wanna read the whole thing?
Q:  I'm gonna read some of it: 

"This is such BS. 
All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I've done millions of times. 
The frustration is unbearable. Anger is rage.
Why the hell did this happen makes no damn sense. 
Now I'm supposed to come back from this and be the same player or better at 35. 
How in the world am I supposed to do that? I have no clue. 
Do I have the consistent will to overcome this thing?
Maybe I should break out of the rocking chair and reminisce on the career that was maybe this is how my book ends. 
Maybe father time has defeated me. Then again, maybe not. 
It's 3. 30 a.m. My foot feels like dead weight.
My head is spinning from the pain meds, and I'm wide awake. 
Forgive my venting, but what's the purpose of social media if I won't bring it to you.
Real no image feels good to vent, to let it out because, after all, the vending, the real perspective sets in.
There are far greater issues and challenges in the world than a torn Achilles.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief.
Same drive and same conviction as ever.
One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence. Today is not that day.
If you see me fight with a bear, pray for the bear.
I've always loved that quote, that's mamba mentality.
We don't quit, we don't cower, we don't run.
We endure and conquer."

I think the best way to prove your value is to work, is to learn, is to absorb. To be a sponge. You always want to outwork your potential as hard. As you believe, you can work. You can work harder than that, and that's what I tried to do when I first came into the league.

But you know, basketball is such a direct competition sport. That me, coming in at 17. I hated when my teammates would say, I got hit with an elbow, right. Shaq is would hit me with the elbow in practice. Like you know, Nick Van Nuxel will come up and say: are you okay tomorrow? What? Am I, are you okay? What the hell is wrong with you, you know? 

So, like, I always had that extra chip on my shoulder, so like, every damn practice for me was really trying to annihilate everybody that was that I was playing against. So I wanted to prove, 'you don't need to babysit me, like I'm fine, you know.' And so it's always that competitive nature. The work ethic and curiosity because I asked a lot of questions playing with Byron Scott. I asked him a lot of questions. Eddie Jones, who was great at chasing guards off the screens, and I didn't understand how to do that - I was sit with him before practice, after practice

Magic, all the Laker Greats, would always sit down and just ask them questions about certain games that I studied growing up. What actually happened there? What did you feel then? Why? 

Q:  What does losing feel like to you? 
A:  Oh, it's exciting. 

Q:  Why is it exciting?
A:  Because it means you have different ways to get better. There are certain things that you can figure out that you can take advantage of, right? Certain weaknesses that were exposed, that you need to shore up. So it was exciting. 
I mean, it sucks to lose, but at the same time there are answers there. Just look at them. 

Q:  Because you get the information from losing more than from winning, probably. 
A:  Yeah. I mean the answers are there when you win too, you just have to look at them. Yeah, right, so it's a constant process. It's exciting! When you win, it's exciting when you lose.
Because the process should be exactly the same, whether you win or you lose. As you go back and you look, and you find things that you could have done better, and find things that you've done well, that worked. 
Figure out, how did they work? Why did they work? How can you make it work again, yeah, and but the hardest thing is to face that stuff. 

If your job is to try to be the best basketball player, you can be. To do that, you have to practice. You have to train. You want to train as much as you can. As often as you can.

Q:  You're playing against the Golden State Warriors score is 107 109. You guys are close to getting into the playoffs. You know exactly what happens in the game. You go up, you're about to take your shot, and then all of a sudden, boom Achilles happens, right? He went and hit the free throws, and then you walked off the stage, and then you got the surgery done. How the hell do you tolerate that kind of pain?

A:  So when the game is more important than the injury itself, you don't feel that injury, not at that time. When I went in the trainers' room, my kids are in there, and you know they're looking at you and stuff, and I'm looking at them - and I'm like, you know, it's all right, dad's gonna be all right, it'll be fine, it'll, be all right, it'll, be all right, it'll, be all right. As a parent, you got to set an example. You got to set an example of this. This is another obstacle.

This obstacle cannot define me. It's not going to me. It's not going to be responsible for me stepping away from the game that I love. I'm gonna step away on my own terms, and that's when the decision was made that, "you know what, I'm doing it." 

Rest at the end, not in the middle. That's something I always live by, I'm not going to rest, and I'm going to keep on pushing. There's a lot of answers that I don't have. Even questions that I don't have. I'm just going to keep going. I'm just going to keep going, and I'll figure these things out as we go. And you're going to continue to build that way. So I try to live by that all the time.

Now, we're not on the stage just because of talent or ability. We're up here because of 4 a.m. we're up here because of two a days, or five a days. We're up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tries to bring us down, we use it to make us stronger.

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