|5/23/2012 10:00:37 AM -
I've been a Sports Illustrated subscriber for 30+ years. I love the magazine because I love sports, and I also love the in-depth personal profiles they do on athletes -- how they live, how they train, and how they act. These days, we have ESPN and dozens of other outlets to give us our actual sports news, but I still like reading a good piece of writing that goes more in depth about what actually happens behind the scenes.
Last week, SI published a very interesting article about Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. The premise of the piece, essentially, is that Duncan is the best basketball player of his generation -- the best since Michael Jordan -- but he's not nearly as big of a "star" as other (lesser) players. He doesn't talk shit, he doesn't self-promote, and he's not featured in a thousand shoe ads, but his statistics (and his team's winning percentage) are far and away the best of the past 20 years.
I'm not the world's biggest NBA fan, but I've always admired the way Duncan goes about his business -- so much so that I printed out 50 copies of this article and circulated them to the kids.
If I were a professional athlete, Duncan is how I would want to be -- not a pompous, shit-talking prima donna, but a silent assassin who just quietly goes about the business of destroying people. That's kind of how I want to be at work, and it's how I want our kids to play the game: staying out of trouble, killing people with the fundamentals, and doing what they're supposed to do, when they're supposed to do it, without asking for or expecting any kind of special treatment. He's a pro athlete who gets the way things need to be done, and if you can get your hands on this article, I'd suggest you read it and apply Duncan's lessons to your own players.