This is the Keith Langford’s blog on Euroleague website (www.euroleague.net).
The second phase of the regular season is upon us and it seems as if so much has happened since my first blog.
Obama was elected to his second term (yes!!), my former college team the Kansas Jayhawks have started basketball season and Armani EA7 is in for a tough challenge making sure we get to the Top 16.
Since I last blogged, our team has experienced some serious highs and lows. After starting 2-0, we have lost three games in a row in Euroleague play. Obviously, it’s never good to lose ,as I stated in my previous blog, but I was taught a long time ago that life is not about what happens to you, but rather how you respond to it.
During this time, we have had rumors, been criticized in the media and have let some prime opportunities slip through our hands. That being said, someone would think that EA7 is ready to pack it in and give up…. NO WAY!!
Back in 2007, I had a brief stint playing with the San Antonio Spurs. (Lol, very brief). I’m bringing this up not because I want to boast or brag about having played in the NBA, but to bring to light a valuable lesson I learned that is being applied to my team’s situation right now.
I would like to introduce Jacob Riis and “The Stonecutter’s Credo”…“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split into two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”Whew! Talk about a winning mentality! Now the time I spent wasn’t very long in San Antonio, but every day that I walked into the locker room, that quote was framed and facing me in a place where it could be read. It’s interesting now because at the time, being a young guy, I understood what it meant, but at the same time I didn’t.
Sitting here now as I write, I fully comprehend. It means you have to pound the rock. It means that if you have something you believe in, you keep working everyday. It means if you have a coach and players you believe in, you support him and them 100% because you know they are all here to get the job done.
Same goes for philosophy on playing styles, practice methods, etc… You keep pounding that rock because one day, that rock is gonna split into pieces. To break it down even further, you keep working on what you believe in because the day is coming where the philosophy makes sense, the day is coming where you”ll get the stops on defense and the day is coming where you will have that moment where you understand that all the hard work has reached its potential.
If you think a stonecutter feels good when his rock bursts, imagine how it will feel for EA7, for your team or even for you, when your hard days on the job show the results of your labor.
My college coach Roy Williams once told me that the dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. It’s simple but true. There are no shortcuts and if someone wants success, they have to be willing to work and sometimes be patient for the success that will follow.