Friday, September 26, 2008

The road less traveled....learn ur lessons thru the lessons u learn

Today, Sam Cassell, of the world champion Boston Celtics spoke the team. Sam’s a good dude and I’ve known him for some time and really appreciate him taking time to share with the young fellas on the Morgan State University hoop squad. He shared his views on winning and what it takes to win (he has three NBA championship rings). He also gave our guys some good stuff on being a student-athlete and following your dreams and goals. I really like the fact that a lot of what he shared in terms of succeeding as a player or competitor were a lot of the same things that we as a coaching staff say often. Now he said those things without us speaking before he spoke to the guys. He asked the group who thought the Lakers were going to beat them and YES, I raised my hand! In the words of the late, great Bernie Mac, “I ain’t scared of them …..ers!” HA! HA! Anywho…he goes on to explain that they said they weren’t going to lose to a bunch of cats that weren’t even from the United States…the place where the game originated! And he said that when the team returned to Boston at 12:30 am after game 5, he and K.G went into the gym to work. He said K.G worked on his game for about 2 hours and when they walked through the training room (where Kendrick Perkins and Tony Allen were getting treatment in the wee hours), he shouted, “We gonna be world champions tomorrow baby!”

It’s not an accident that he’s been in the league for 16 years and knows how to win. He told the guys that when he got traded to the Clippers he asked Mike Dunleavy for tapes of their games so he could study the team and find out why they couldn’t win even though they had a lot of talent. It boiled down to the little things. Hey, I always say…the game is simple, players make it hard. Sam plans on being a coach after he retires and he traveled a different road to the NBA. He didn’t qualify for a scholarship out of high school (after signing with DePaul), went to prep school, still didn’t qualify, went to JUCO, then went to Florida State and after being passed over for lots of other guards, he was drafted late in the first round and 16 years later he tells the guys it’s an honor to play in the NBA not a privilege. Thanks Coach Cassell and by the way…Kobe is from here… homeboy!

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