What Are You Willing To Give Up?

Sometimes we are required to give up something we really enjoy doing if it is getting in the way of a goal. If we are trying to pay off debt, we will need to give up expensive vacations. If we are trying to lose weight, we are going to have to give up cheesecake. And if we are trying to win an NBA championship, then we may just have to give up drugs.

That’s right…drugs.

Last week, I read an article about former NBA player Stephen Jackson. In the article it mentioned a story Jackson told to ESPN about the time he had a chance to play for the San Antonio Spurs following his rookie season. The Spurs had a great team and saw Jackson as a piece that could help them bring home an NBA title. But there was one stipulation…Jackson couldn’t smoke weed during the season.

Here’s how Jackson told the story of his conversation with Spurs’ coach Gregg Popavich:

Pop was like, ‘I need to talk to you.’ He was like, ‘Jack, you had a great summer league, you’re playing well, I really want you on my team, but there’s only one way you’re going to make my team: During the season, you can’t smoke weed, Jack. You just can’t do it. I need you focused. I need you on your game, because you know we have a chance to win a championship, and I need you focused.“

So Jackson had a decision to make. He could keep smoking weed or he could play for a chance to win a championship.

Seems like an easy decision right? Give up weed and win an NBA title and make millions of dollars. But there are plenty of professional basketball players who have not been able to do this.

So what did Jackson do? I’ll let him tell you:

And once he told me that, I shut it down. I shut it down. The NBA was way more important than weed. Trust me. I played two years there and won a championship. Everything he said was going to happen if I did my part — if I played defense, stopped smoking weed, I would win a championship, and I would be a starter on a championship team — and it all came true.”

Just making sacrifices doesn’t guarantee we will be successful. Jackson didn’t win an NBA ring solely because he stopped smoking weed. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker probably had more to do with it than the drugs did.

But Jackson’s decision to put the goal first is what made him successful. Our ability to make sacrifices with a greater goal in mind can make all the difference.

Brickhouse Roundtable Part 2: New Beginnings

I was fortunate to be asked to participate in Brickhouse Podcast’s latest roundtable discussion. Among other things, we talk about Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant & Tim Duncan.


A league without Duncan and Kobe is really the end of an era. To make the next season even more surreal multiple future Hall of Famers, some synonymous with their cities, are on new teams. In the moment it’s hard to know, but it feels like excitement for the NBA right now is near an all-time peak. We had to ask our panel of analysts for their breakdown of all the changes.

1. With Kevin Durant gone, what happens now with Russell Westbrook?

Click here to continue reading.

Why Does That Keep Happening?

Minutes ago, Yale upset Baylor in the NCAA tournament. If this were the NCAA Test Taking Tournament, that result would not be much of a surprise, but in a basketball tournament Baylor is not supposed to lose to an Ivy League school.

Those of you who filled out an NCAA Tournament bracket are well aware that this game was a classic 12-5 upset. The #12 seed is almost always the underdog, but it has become a common March occurrence to see them beat the favored #5 seed.

Why does this keep happening?

Almost exactly one year ago I wrote about that very question. Here’s what I came up with & what it may mean for those of us who aren’t college athletes.

How To Bounce Back From Rejection Like Michael Jordan

Have you been shot down by your longtime crush? Perhaps you were informed you didn’t get that dream job?  Maybe you were even told you couldn’t sit at the cool lunch table.

The popular adage states that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. I’d suggest adding a third one: rejection.

Rejection is like that whip and nae nae song. We hear it way more than we would like and once it is in our heads, we think we will never be able to get it out.

Not only is rejection an emotional pain, but to our brain, it feels like a physical pain. fMRI studies have shown that when we experience rejection, the same areas of our brain become activated as when we experience physical injury.

And not only that, but social pain has been shown to be more easily relived than physical pain. So not only does rejection hurt like a black eye, it makes us feel like we will get punched in the face any time we think back to that moment.

Luckily for us, there is a surefire way to bounce back from rejection. To find out how, check out the new article I wrote Fulfillment Daily. You’ll see why we need to look no further than the great Michael Jordan.

How To Bounce Back From Rejection Like Michael Jordan – Fulfillment Daily


Embrace Success

Prior to Sunday’s NBA All–Star Game, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gave Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green some pretty good advice:

“I was the first one (from the West) announced,” Green said, “and I was standing next to him (Popovich), and coach said, ‘Man, did you hear what Drake just said? He said this is the game with the 24 best players in the world. You’re one of those guys. Embrace it all, because you never would have thought that when you were at Michigan State, and I never would have thought that when I was coaching Division II, but we’re here.’” Green told MLive.com

Popovich began his career at Pomona-Pitzer College and Green was considered an undersized forward who few considered a future NBA star. Now each of them are at the top of their field. Each worked hard to get there and has been rewarded.

Popovich didn’t say to flaunt the success and he didn’t tell Green to call each person who doubted him and ask, “how ya like me now?” He simply said to embrace the success. This perspective is something we should all remember.