Keith Langford is now a blogger for Euroleague.net. Here we reproduce his first post
To fans and athletes alike, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this blog. I want to start by thanking the Euroleague for allowing me to be one of the first to blog this season.
When approached to write this, I was thinking about what I should write and focus on. Should I talk about the new roster of my new team in Milan (which is actually really good)? Should it be the Euroleague pressures and expectations of every team in the Euroleague this season? What about some of my favorite Euroleague teams and players to compete against? All these topics were and are very interesting and I’m sure I’ll address them as the season progresses, but there was one thing that stuck out in my mind that I think every athlete confronts in their career.
After participating in the Euroleague for two years, I had two very good seasons individually. As a rookie, statistically I couldn’t have asked for better numbers or bigger games. As a second year player I ended up leading the regular season in scoring. Like I said before, statistically I couldn’t have asked for more in my first two years in the Euroleague. At least that’s what I thought….
Last year, playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv, our team lost in Game 5 of the Euroleague playoffs to Panathinaikos, a team full of players and a coach that I have an incredible amount of respect for. I mention this because dealing with everything I had to last year from my separation with Khimki to the slow start in Tel Aviv gave me an entirely new perspective on how to approach this game.
I don’t think that you can ever completely get over loss, but it’s what you learn from those losses and how you apply them as you go forward that separates you from the next person. I feel like what you learn from losses has to propel you into a new phase. No matter how long you have been losing or how great the losses were, redemption is right around the corner. I lost a very good individual situation in Khimki, but I gained a great team situation in Tel Aviv that helped me as an individual. I lost a very important playoff series against Panathinaikos, but I’ve gained invaluable experience from it.
This is what makes the Euroleague so special. Everyone watches it, pays close attention to it and the teams that win are incredibly appreciated. I’ve learned that the Euroleague is about winning and what you’re willing to do, willing to change or give up to reach that goal.
I feel fortunate enough to have the opportunity to apply these learning experiences with a new team that is looking for the same kind of redemption. The challenge of change is a welcomed opponent. I don’t know what the final story will be, but in the words of the infamous Terrell Owens… “sit back and get your popcorn ready!”