A Letter To JG

Dear JG

How are you doing my brotha? I mean, like how are you feeling, what are your thoughts, what do you think about in idle time? I’m interested in how you feel personally because that’s all that matters to me and several others. I could give a damn about a football and your ability within this game because my brother, my friend, you are much more important than any game.

I’ve been reading your story and I admit it is heartbreaking and I’m not going to be like a lot of people and tell you I understand how you felt back when all this started in Middle School, hell mentally before that. I do believe in demons and I do understand the impact of trauma and how that can have an affect on ones mind. I grew up in a small but reckless city called Saginaw. MI and have seen my fair share of crazy shit. You know, dead bodies on corners, murderers, friends I’ll never see again from death and behind bars. All that shit can break the strongest of us.

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The thing is JG, you matter to a ton of people, maybe you know them but there are some you don’t know, but we are out here and in support of you!! Yes you, JG the young black King who will change the lives of thousands. We care about you because we love you and want the best for you the person. And although it is almost impossible to tune out things these days, please try to tune out football and those who only seem to care about you when you are participating for their favorite sports team. I’m all for taking care of self because at the end of the day, you have to make sure that you are fine.

You see, even with your current problems I see a long line of success waiting for you. You have already beat the odds JG, and on the road to building up yourself please remember that this is all part of the process. The only timeline that you are on is the one God has destined for you. And I know there is pain in all of this, I know there is, but you have a special story and one that you are not the only one to go through so think about that going forward. You have the ability to help more people than you ever imagined but it starts with you.

More blessings you JG and get well ASAP. We need you happy and healthy.

Social Media's Impact on High School Basketball Pt. 1

One thing that I have noticed over my years of watching High School basketball is the dedication that these young individuals have put into their craft.  Maybe it's just social media, but it certainly seems that these young individuals are will to put in the work to get to the next level.  

Don't get my wrong, I know that there have always been young talented players who have put in the NBA level type of work on their way to being future All-Americans, Division 1 athletes, NBA All-Stars but it definitely seems to be at a higher rate than when I was in High School.  I did attend HS and played basketball with one of the top players in the country across all recruiting sites and believe me that same work was not the case back then.  In fact, I get kind of upset knowing that I did not suggest and push him (us) to be in the gym more to actually get reps that would imporve our game as players!  I'm not saying we didn't hoop at all, we did and it was more so in open gyms 5v5.  This helps for conditioning but does not necessarily tend to your solo gains as a player.  The one thing I do know is if I pushed my brotha and went to the gym with him, he would be in the NBA no doubt!  But hey that is a post for another time.

What I do know is I definitely respect and am encouraged by these young players based on their dedication to get better.  It's funny because for better or worse, social media has had an impact on what we see from the players.  As a teenager who strives to be one of the top players in the country, you would be hard-pressed to sit at home relaxing while you see even the most elite of players in the gym, daily, early as 5 AM improving upon their craft.  So for as much as social media may have hurt our youth talent, this is a part that I truly appreciate!  

Apply Pressure!

 

LLC OUT

Thank You Kobe

Kobe retired 2 different jersey numbers tonight.  Did y’all hear me?  I said Kobe just retired 2 different jersey numbers tonight.  That’s right, both #8 and #24 hang up high in Staples Center.  For twenty years of my life, I watched Kobe literally pour blood, sweat and tears into this game of basketball.  He did it with only the type of grit and grind that could be initiated by thee Kobe Bryant himself.  Coming up as a kid who played the sport of basketball myself, I remember watching Kobe come into the league as a rookie and wow the world with an awesome Dunk Contest championship.  Remember those airballs against the Jazz in the playoffs.  So many moments, so so many.  

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If I can be honest, and people think I am crazy but I still have not seen a basketball player like the #8 Kobe.  Fearless, athletic, fundamental and a straight up monster on the court.  There were no friends, there was no buddy ball, hell he didn’t even like his teammates lol.  The fact is, he was great though.  And not great because it was just God-given ability, but great because he worked at it.  Each season coming back with a different component added to his game.  Oh, and he managed to come up with 3 titles while playing with the great Shaq.  And if you say these were his Robin years, check the damn stats!!  With no Kobe, there were no rings and truth be told his intensity and push to be great pushed Shaq to stay on tip as well, it will never be said but I can guarantee it.

A little bit older, a lotta bit wiser, Kobe returns growing with the name “Mamba,” but this time he is wearing the number 24.  There is no Shaq, the winning seasons have lead to disappointments and early playoff exits and this is without question his team.  So what does a great do, he gets in the lab to work on his game, even past the physical, he knows its now mental.  The Mamba can see why the grind is so important, I mean a young Kobe has had championship success, but the challenge is now getting THIS roster to understand the grind.  A few changes to the roster but Kobe finds a way to challenge everyone on the roster from 1 to 15, in his way, the tough love way.  Killing teammates in practice so they go home and have to think about it.  Forcing them to compete at the highest of levels in practice only paid benefits when the Mamba got this team to add two more championships to his already legendary career.

In between these short paragraphs are a ton of details that are left out but I’ll leave that up to you all to read study and watch YouTube on.  Just know that if you got to watch Kobe Bryant compete, whether it be KB8 or The Mamba or maybe both, you watched one of the Greatest Of All Time.  And even more important, he did it his way.

 Thank you Mamba

 
 
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Bounce Back Game

What is your bounce back game like?  Like really, how do you react in times of failure, loss, or any of that other bad mess that can happen to you?  The bounce back game must be strong and part of that is faith and belief in yourself.  Understanding that no matter how the cards are dealt or how they play out, you will be good regardless.  You have to believe that if you lost it all, you can get it all back, plus some.  Remember the saying, “you ain’t a boss until you take a loss.”  Well I do believe there is some truth to that.

For myself, I look at failure as lessons learned so I know that once the experienced scenarios come around again I should be able to handle and react differently so that the outcome is a bit different.  There is this Jay Z line that I always go back to time and time again.  “I will not lose for even in defeat there’s a valuable lesson learned so that evens it up for me.”  And since then that is exactly how I have approached life.  When things don’t turn out for your favor you can mope around about it or you can level up and do better.  For me, the only option is to level up.  Remember, if you lived through it then you have another chance.

This post is something short for those dealing with life’s lessons.  That is what we will call them, not losses, not failures, but life’s lessons.  Always know after a lesson, you are built for this shit!

LLC Out

 
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