I’m a firm believer in energy. I believe the energy you place in the atmosphere is the energy you’ll receive. This morning I felt some special energy. I’m not sure who it’s from or where it’s coming from, but it was so strong it woke me up this Christmas morning and made me jump on Tumblr. I hope this reaches the person(s) it’s intended for.
Those of you who know me, also know my story. However, I’ll give you a brief on the last couple of months and how I handled each situation. When I got back from Italy after the lockout year, I was a unrestricted free agent. Teams were afraid to sign me. Not because I lacked skill, but because I developed a reputation for having a bad attitude. Early in my career I was very immature. I handled a lot of situations the wrong way. I simply didn’t know how to be a professional, but it was never in a harmful way. I was just young. I owned it though. I took responsibility for my past. Because of that, I matured. I could’ve pointed the finger and used excuses as a crutch, but I didn’t. I knew I was an NBA player. I knew I belonged, but I also knew my road back was going to be rocky.
Last summer I woke up stressed out damn near every morning. Some days were better than others, but most were bad. I knew I had the game, but going into the last week before training camp, I was still without a team. Even through all the uncertainty, my faith still outweighed my fear. I continued to release positive energy into the atmosphere….then out of no where, the Lakers called. They wanted me to come in and earn a spot. Once I got that call, it was made up in my mind that I’d be a Laker. I knew I was going to go in there and showcase my talent. Which I did. The very first day I was 1 on 1 partners with Kobe. And we were going at it. Shit talking…elbows were thrown. To my surprise, after that first practice Kobe went to media and spoke highly of me. Everyday I played well and practiced well. Kobe continued to mentor me along the way. The Laker fans embraced me. I just knew I was in. Then I got a call from Leon (my agent) saying they were going to let me go. They told me I played great. The numbers on the business side just wouldn’t work. It was one of the worst phone calls I’ve ever gotten, but I was at peace because I knew I played my ass off. I brought it every day. My motto is “control what you can control” and I did that. That didn’t matter though. Once it got released that the Lakers let me go, the people thought it was due to my game. People had jokes. People wrote me off. It was embarrassing. However, I took positives away from my month with the Lakers too. I developed a relationship with Kobe Bryant. He showed me how to be a pro. He showed me real work ethic. Playing against him everyday made me so much of a better player. He understood me. He understood that its a difference in having a bad attitude and being competitive and wanting to win every drill/game. One night after a game and we were in the showers and he told me “you have no other choice. You were put here to be basketball player. You have to fight until you’re one of them boys. You’re too talented. I played behind mfers that I was better than up until my third year but I KNEW I would be who I am today then. I work too hard not to break through.” That stuck with me. So I appreciate the opportunity the Lakers gave me. I looked at that month with the Lakers as an internship under Bean. I gained knowledge that I couldn’t have gotten any other way. That’s what I took from that situation. It’s all about how you respond when times are rough.
At this point, I had two avenues to take. Go to the D-League, or go overseas. My heart and my dreams were in the NBA. Even though I never thought I’d ever play in the D-League, I felt that was the fastest way back to the NBA. This is where my faith had to outweigh my fear. I turned down seven figures overseas to follow my heart. When your passionate about your craft, the money doesn’t matter. I humbled myself and signed with the Dallas Mavericks D-League affiliate. Instead of complaining about not being in the NBA. I made up in my mind that I was going to be the best player in the D-League. Vowed not to take a day off. I was on a mission. The first game I scored 50 points. I wanted to dominate the competition. I wanted to erase all doubts. Every game I wanted to destroy the competition. Every game I came in with a killer mindset. I played 10 games in the D-League with that singular focus and just like that, I was back where I belonged. I signed with the Dallas Mavericks three days ago. I’m so proud to be a part of Mavs nation.
All that to say, I know it’s a cliché, but don’t ever give up. The fight is only over if you make up in your mind that it’s over. Your mind and your heart knows what your soul yearns for. You never know how close you are to breaking through at the moment you give up. You can be right there. Your confidence and faith has to be stronger than your fear and uncertainty. Every success story has failure along the way. Every great man or women has failed at least one time on their journey to greatness. It’s a part of the journey. Every time you fail, it’s a lesson that you’re suppose to take from it. It’s on you though. An excuse is your worst enemy. Excuses are used by incompetent people. Take control of your life. When shit is going terribly, you always have two choices: 1. pity yourself and blame others or 2. find the POSITIVE lesson from it and thug it out until you reach your ultimate goal.