The NBA Warriors cure my Writer’s Block
Ever have writers block?
Like that serious, crippling writers block? I think it usually has to do with stress, overwhelm or some sort of fear. I have been wedged in the middle of a long 10 month case of writer’s block. I am able to write, but it’s not good enough, it’s never good enough lately. This isn’t the case when someone is paying me to write. I am always on fire for content writing projects. They are fun challenges. Unfortunately, my writer’s block has been centered around my own content.
I am a huge basketball fan (heck of a transition, I know). I played in high school, was a super active team mom during my son’s AAU basketball career and I have watched watched and attended a combined 2000+ hours of live basketball games. I am an Oakland native, a west coast faithful, with an international habit. Warriors Ground has seemed to finally spread beyond my hometown. I can’t help but think about all of the things that this professional basketball team has been able to overcome during that last few years, the last year, the last 2 months. I am a sucker for emotional, inspirational moments. I am a true writer to the core. The bigger the emotions, the better the results. That way of thinking has left me quite perplexed lately. How then am I suffering from writers block? I have had a few immense emotional moments in the last 10 months.
I have figured it out. The thought of “baring it all” sounds daunting. It sounds risky. But the Warriors have done it, multiple times. In fact I remember when the turnaround happened. The Warriors leadership team decided to make a very unpopular decision, one that proved to be completely necessary. I remember being in the arena when the crowd booed the management team. It was embarrassing, it was uncomfortable and it was REAL. The team traded their prized player, Monta Ellis. It was a big surprise. He is a player that I absolutely loved on the Warriors’ team. I was there when the sports world heard our disappointment aired on TV. But I knew, we all knew, somewhere deep down, that things would eventually be okay. I have to learn to have that type of undeniable faith in my business, my clients and my supporters. That upsetting change happened in 2012. It’s highly unlikely that anyone would argue that decision today, given that it allowed a young Steph Curry to take center stage and lead the team as its starting point guard. 2 years later another unpopular decision was made, the head coach, mark Jackson was fired for another first time player turned coach, Steve Kerr. The fans were again asked to trust the management team. The team was on the rise, they had done better than they had done in a long time. When the coaching change was announced, I realized something vital. I realized that the Warriors were practicing the following “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”. I realized that the Warriors management team had reached the point when “good enough” was no longer good enough. How many of us have occasionally or regularly accepted “good enough” in our business, in our lives? It’s time to stop…right now.
Steve Kerr started as the head coach for the 2014-15 Warriors team. He came in 5 championship rings from his career as a point guard in the NBA. He was a different type of coach from the beginning, a different type of person. I recently learned that when Coach Kerr was in college, his father was murdered in Beirut. Shortly after he had a college basketball game where he was 100% in 3 pointers during the first half. It takes a special type of person, a special mind set to perform above the bar during tragedy, disappointment, heartbreak. The coach of the 2014-15 team said things like “go have fun”. He expected a lot, he did unconventional things and he inspired his team. He is the type of leader that has a team that overachieves to please him. How many of us practice that type of leadership? When the going gets tough, we search inside ourselves, we search for the best, we make adjustments, and we risk deflating egos to make adjustments that are best suited for the moment? It’s tough.
The Warriors team fought a long, treacherous battle for 82 games. They ended their regular season breaking records, creating new realities and rewarding all of its fans for being loyal and enduring the tough times. The Warriors proved all of the naysayers wrong, they were not simply a one hit wonder that would run out of steam. They battles the best in the league and in the end came out champions.
I went to the Championship Parade that took place in downtown Oakland on June 19th, 2015. It was surreal. The city was filled with Warrior signs, gear, jerseys, vendors, screens, celebrities, floats, a full out celebration. It was amazing to recount all of the hardships that the Warriors faced not only that year but the past 4 years, and every season since their last championship in 1975. This wasn’t some team decorated with a long legacy of winning and top caliber superstars. This was a homegrown team that just so happened to have an intelligent and gutsy management team and also the highest caliber fans around. Just being there at that championship parade, filled with cheers, overflowing with positive energy, it all made me commit to doing even better in all aspects of my life. Success doesn’t come overnight just because you ask for it. One must prove that they want it, that they deserve it.
Hopefully this quick journey through how the Warrior’s have helped to cure my writer’s block drives home a few key points:
- Excellence isn’t given, its earned
- Success is attained by enduring the toughest of obstacles
- Enduring the dark moments
- Be courageous, stand tall and true
As I relive that season and those key moments, I know what needs to be done to shake off writer’s block of mine. I have already began to gain strides.
Be brave, Be true, Be resilient…in order that you may Be a Champion.
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