Wednesday, February 24, 2010


DALLAS — All-Star Weekend is viewed by many players as friendly competition. Yet for Kevin Garnett, it still was very much a game that he wanted to win. After the East defeated the West on Sunday night, Garnett’s teammates revealed the impact he made on the squad.

Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic — “It was just like normal. We can watch him on TV and he’s always intense. He was the only one that was intense the whole game.”

Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks — “[His intensity] is a good thing. When he’s on my side, I love it. I really had a great time with all those guys, and he really is that intense player. I think people, it maybe goes underrated, how big of a leader he is. He really came in here and made everybody feel welcome and comfortable and really gave us good advice. Right away, he congratulated us first-timers here, and just throughout the week[end] he really encouraged us the right way. He’s a true leader.”

Rajon Rondo, Celtics — “I really wasn’t on the bench with KG. When he was playing I was sitting and vice versa, so for the most part KG is KG. … He had a lot of intensity [during the Three-Point Shootout]. But we wanted our guy to win, Paul [Pierce]. We rooted for Paul. We were over there cheering like we were actual fans, which we were. Paul did a great job. We were over there talking a lot of trash, especially KG.”

Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks — “Man, every year we’ve played in this game he’s been the same way, and that’s intense from the start to finish. He always wants to win. And I know that this is a fun event for fans, but for us as players, we still want to win. He brings that winning attitude every year. It’s been amazing to see that and he’s a great, great person and teammate.”

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls — “He was just telling me just to get the jitters out with my first shot, I should just drive to the hole, don’t shoot the jump shot because I might elbow or something like that. But he was just kidding around, just telling me to go out there and play my regular game. … It means a lot. You see how many stars he’s got on that back of his shirt. He’s got 13, 14 stars on the back of his shirt, so he definitely was like the leader on this team.”

The following quotes were collected by by Jessica Camerato and passed on to me from Coach Eric Musselman.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010



From Coach Jim Tressel's The Winner's Manual:

Class is respect for others. It is a deep and genuine respect for every human being, regardless of his status in life.

Class is having manners. It is always saying “thank you” and “please.” It is complimenting people for any and every task done well.

Class is treating every other person as you would want them to treat you in a similar situation.
Class never makes excuses for one’s own shortcomings, but it always helps others bounce back from their mistakes.

Class never brags or boasts about one’s own accomplishments. And it never tears down or diminishes the achievements of another person.

Class does not depend on money, status, success, or ancestry. The wealthy aristocrat may not even know the meaning of the word, yet the poorest man in town may radiate class in everything he does.

If you have class, everyone will know it, and you will have self-respect. If you are without class—good luck, because no matter what you accomplish, it will never have meaning.

Friday, February 19, 2010


If you fail to develop an every-day-every-play habit of precision, you just are not paving your way to championship performance. I call it making sure you are in SCHAPE to play. S.C.H.A.P.E spells out six important ingredients.

• Spirit
• Communication
• Hustle
• Attitude
• Precision
• Enhancement

Spirit: Spirit is noise. Do you make noise while you are practicing and playing? To demonstrate spirit, you have to make noise with your mouth and your hands. You yell and you clap.

Communication: On the court or on the field, communication during sports competition required the same ingredients that permit effective communication in an office or at a party. Make sure you use the ingredients consistently in practice and in games.

Hustle: This one doesn’t need much explanation except to say that it is something you have to measure every day on the practice field, not just during big games.

Attitude: Most everyone understands who one even if it’s a bit difficult to put it precisely into words. You gotta play and practice with an attitude. You can’t just go through the motions. Everything about your approach to what you are doing has to say “This matter, this is important, I care, and they, want to see intensity at work?

Precision: It takes extra effort to be precise. That’s why so many athletes fail at it. It seems easier to cut off a few steps, to take a shortcut.

Enhancement: After all the instructions are given, throughout the criticism and encouragement, the winning and losing, a final question keeps popping into the championship equation for me. Are you out there every day actively trying to enhance what is going on? Making a drill run more smoothly? Trying to turn seven repetitions per minute into eight? Encouraging your teammates who are tired or in a slump? Trying to get your big slow guy to get some zip into his game? Trying to help the reserves feel more a part of the action? Trying to make the practice atmosphere more positive?

From "Think Like a Champion" by Dick Devenzio

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Because Bird exuded mental roughness, a hatred of losing and a willingness to play at the highest possible level, his teammates gradually took on the same attitudes, as if absorbing his qualities by osmosis.

“None of us wanted to let him down. All of us wanted to be worthy of him. The great thing about Larry was his effect on his teammates. Everyone on that team rose with him, not just to his expectations of them, which were high enough, but to his expectations of himself, which were even higher.” -Danny Ainge

From "Playing for Keeps" by David Halberstam


“Failure is a word that is only truthful when someone’s willing to accept it. I just feel like there’s a way out no matter how far down and out you are. No matter what the perception of you is, no matter what’s happened in your life, until you just give up, there’s a way out. Failure can only be final if a person gives in to it, accepts it. You can alter your circumstances no matter how bad they seem to be.”

-Bill Parcells

Monday, February 15, 2010


The following comes from my Jim Rohn email newsletter. From the standpoint of basketball it could easily be translated as "Nine Things More Important Than Talent."

When starting any enterprise or business, whether it is full-time or part-time, we all know the value of having plenty of capital (money). But I bet we both know or at least have heard of people who started with no capital who went on to make fortunes. How? You may ask.

Well, I believe there are actually some things that are more valuable than capital that can lead to your entrepreneurial success. Let me give you the list.

1. Time
Time is more valuable than capital. The time you set aside not to be wasted, not to be given away. Time you set aside to be invested in an enterprise that brings value to the marketplace with the hope of making a profit. Now we have capital time.
How valuable is time? Time properly invested is worth a fortune. Time wasted can be devastation. Time invested can perform miracles, so you invest your time.

2. Desperation
I have a friend, Lydia, whose first major investment in her new enterprise was desperation. She said, "My kids are hungry, I’ve gotta make this work. If this doesn't work, what will I do?" So she invested $1 in her enterprise selling a product she believed in. The $1 was to buy a few flyers so she could make a sale at retail, collect the money and then buy the product wholesale to deliver back to the customer.

My friend Bill Bailey went to Chicago as a teenager after he got out of high school. And the first job he got was as a night janitor. Someone said, "Bill, why would you settle for night janitor?" He said, "Malnutrition." You work at whatever you can possibly get when you get hungry. You go to work somewhere—night janitor, it doesn't matter where it is. Years later now, Bill is a recipient of the Horatio Alger award, rich and powerful and one of the great examples of lifestyle that I know. But, his first job—night janitor. Desperation can be a powerful incentive. When you say, “I must.”

3. Determination
Determination says I will. First Lydia said, "I must find a customer." Desperation. Second, she said, "I will find someone before this first day is over." Sure enough, she found someone. She said, "If it works once, it will work again." But then the next person said, "No." Now what must you invest?

4. Courage
Courage is more valuable than capital. If you've only got $1 and a lot of courage, I'm telling you, you've got a good future ahead of you. Courage in spite of the circumstances. Humans can do the most incredible things no matter what happens. Haven't we heard the stories? There are some recent ones from Kosovo that are some of the most classic, unbelievable stories of being in the depths of hell and finally making it out. It's humans. You can't sell humans short. Courage in spite of, not because of, but in spite of. Now once Lydia has made 3 or 4 sales and gotten going, here's what now takes over.

5. Ambition
"Wow! If I can sell 3, I can sell 33. If I can sell 33, I can sell 103." Wow. Lydia is now dazzled by her own dreams of the future.

6. Faith
Now she begins to believe she's got a good product. This is probably a good company. And she then starts to believe in herself. Lydia, single mother, 2 kids, no job. "My gosh, I'm going to pull it off!" Her self-esteem starts to soar. These are investments that are unmatched. Money can't touch it. What if you had a million dollars and no faith? You'd be poor. You wouldn't be rich. Now here is the next one, the reason why she's a millionaire today.

7. Ingenuity
Putting your brains to work. Probably up until now, you've put about 1/10 of your brainpower to work. What if you employed the other 9/10? You can't believe what can happen. Humans can come up with the most intriguing things to do. Ingenuity. What's ingenuity worth? A fortune. It is more valuable than money. All you need is a $1 and plenty of ingenuity. Figuring out a way to make it work, make it work, make it work.

8. Heart and Soul
What is a substitute for heart and soul? It's not money. Money can't buy heart and soul. Heart and soul is more valuable than a million dollars. A million dollars without heart and soul, you have no life. You are ineffective. But, heart and soul is like the unseen magic that moves people, moves people to buy, moves people to make decisions, moves people to act, moves people to respond.

9. Personality
You've just got to spruce up and sharpen up your own personality. You've got plenty of personality. Just get it developed to where it is effective every day, effective no matter who you talk to, whether it is a child or whether it is a business person, whether it is a rich person or a poor person. A unique personality that is at home anywhere. One of my mentors, Bill Bailey, taught me, "You've got to learn to be just as comfortable, Mr. Rohn, whether it is in a little shack in Kentucky having a beer and watching the fights with Winfred, my old friend or in a Georgian mansion in Washington, DC as the Senator's guest." Move with ease whether it is with the rich or whether it is with the poor. And it makes no difference to you who is rich or who is poor. A chance to have a unique relationship with whomever. The kind of personality that's comfortable. The kind of personality that's not bent out of shape.

And lastly, let's not forget charisma and sophistication. Charisma with a touch of humility. This entire list is more valuable than money. With one dollar and the list I just gave you, the world is yours. It belongs to you, whatever piece of it you desire whatever development you wish for your life. I've given you the secret. Capital. The kind of capital that is more valuable than money and that can secure your future and fortune. Remember that you lack not the resources.


1. When a winner makes a mistake, he says "my fault"; when a loser makes a mistake, he throws the blame on someone else.

2. A winner credits his "good luck" for winning on being fundamentally prepared; a loser blames his "bad luck" for losing on bad breaks even though he is not fundamentally prepared.

3. A winner works harder than a loser and always finds time to do what is expected of him; a loser never finds the time and when he does, he works on the wrong things.

4. A winner makes commitments and sets goals with his heart and sets out to accomplish them; a loser makes "promises" with his mouth and never sincerely means to keep them.

5. A winner shows he's sorry by making up for mistakes; a loser says "I'm sorry" but does the same thing next time.

6. A winner thinks, "I'm good, but not as good as I should or could be." A loser thinks, "I'm not as bad as some of the others."

7. A winner would rather be admired for his ability than liked, although he would prefer both; a loser would rather be liked than admired because he knows he hasn't worked hard enough to be admired.

8. A winner hates to lose; a loser could care less although he may put up a good front.

9. A winner is fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game; a loser is not!

10. A winner knows that strength, agility and quickness are the keys to success in athletics and works hard to attain those things; a loser may know, but never attains.

11. A winner takes constructive criticism from the coach, realizing that it will help him and the team; a loser pouts and thinks he's being picked on.

12. A winner thinks of the team first and never wants to let the team down; a loser thinks of himself first and the team last.

This list comes from Coach Don Meyer of Northern University. If you are looking for more things to help you as a player, go to: and click on "Player's Corner."

Sunday, February 14, 2010


"In basketball, as in life, true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way. Of course, it is no accident that things are more likely to go your way when you stop worrying about whether you’re going to win or lose and focus your full attention on what’s happening right this moment. The day I took over the Bulls, I vowed to create an environment based on the principles of selflessness and compassion."

-Phil Jackson

Saturday, February 13, 2010


“Single-mindedness. I hate to say it because I don’t think it’s the best thing for developing a person, but the single-mindedness – just concentrating in that one area – that’s what it takes to be a champion.”

-Chris Evert


“To win, you have to lose,
and then get pissed off.”

-Joe Namath

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


What Tim Duncan's mother sang to him when he was a child:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is your best!

This came from an article in last week's Sports Illustrated (passed on to us from Coach Eric Musselman)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


If you could give a young person advice on how to achieve their dreams, what would it be?

Bill Cowher:
“Three things I’ve always said:
1. Never quit anything you start.
2. Work harder than the other person.
3. Never be intimidated by anyone or anything.”

Dusty Baker:
“To not be afraid to be different and separate yourself from the pack.”

Tony Dungy:
“You have to be determined to get there no matter which way the crowd is going. You can’t depend on the crowd to take you there. Sometimes you have to be a leader rather than a follower to be successful and to get to your goals.”

Bill Walsh:
“Look at the short term of improving. Watch other people; learn from other people. Listen to whoever’s coaching you. Try to improve every day that you practice and every game that you play. That is the key.”

Red Auerbach:
“There are no shortcuts. You gotta pay your dues, you gotta know your trade, and you’ve got to pay the price. If you want to go through all that and then do a little more, you’ve got a good shot.”

From: "How to Succeed in the Game of Life"
By Christian Klemash

Monday, February 1, 2010


"I always say to my guys, 'The most important day of your life is today. This very minute is the most important of you life. You must win this minute. You must win this day. And tomorrow will take care of itself.'"

- John Chaney
(Thenks to Coach Sundance Wicks)