More Basketball Things to Read

by Kate Starbird

I've been asked by a few people to send this journal entry of mine, read aloud by Charmin at the team banquet, Tuesday, April 15th. It wasn't ever meant for publication, just something i put down in my journal a few years ago. I gave a copy of it to Charmin during some conversation we were having. It was strange. There she was in my room, saying to me exactly what I'd written in my joural just the night before. I printed her a copy. Apparently, she kept it and remembered it, because at the banquet, just minutes before we were going to begin, she asked me if it was all right for her to read it.

Remember - this is not polished at all. My apologies - oh wait, i've been told to stop apologizing in my home page, so i take that back.

Kate Starbird Tuesday. April 25, 1995
...I had some really deep thought about some totally unrelated thing this afternoon. Well, not totally unrelated. It was about teammates, and the strength of that bond, and why the hell it is so strong. I figured it out. Some of what we go through here, physically, mentally, and emotionally, is so painful that I don't think anyone could possibly do it alone. Not because they aren't strong enough, and not because they need the support, although these factors do contribute, but I don't think anyone could go through this thinking that they're doing it for themself. It wouldn't work. It wouldn't be worth it. I couldn't run three miles at seven in the morning and then do a weight workout that made me want to throw up thinking that I was doing it for myself. There has to be something more.

Teammates. Something bigger. Something beyond the pain, and a reward beyond victory, because, although that often seems to be the ultimate goal, it is not the ultimate reward. We do it for each other, and without each other, we could never do it. You can't work this hard and go through this much for yourself. So the teammate bond is strong, so strong, because it must be, it has to be the motivating factor, the thing that drives you, pushes you, and finally pulls you through in your time of need, and without it, the bond, there could be no team, because there would be nothing to work for, no one to work for, and no real reward besides hollow and short-lived victory. And the greatest thing of all is the fact that although games and tournaments soon become mere memories, friendships will always be there. The bonds last, when everything else finished, and are carried with us into the rest of our lives, and they are so strong, because we know that not only did we go through so much for our teammates, but that they went through just as much for us, and we know just how much that was.

Read about Kate's coach at Stanford, Tara Vanderveer, in this portrait of the three-time National Coach of the Year winner and coach of the gold-medal-winning 1996 Olympic women's basketball team. "Shooting from the Outside" chronicles VanDerveer's intense year-long journey to Atlanta, her rise as a coach of women's basketball, and her work with twelve unique women athletes.

Click the book to the right to visit, the internet's largest bookstore, where you can purchase "Shooting from the Outside".

Magic Johnson says infighting hurt the Lakers

INGLEWOOD, CA (AP)-- Magic Johnson says the Los Angeles Lakers had too many internal problems to beat the Houston Rockets and he doesn't think things will change next season unless the infighting stops and attitudes change.

"So much has been going on, we never could get on the same page, we never could be as one," Johnson said Friday after the players held a final team meeting during which he refused to accept a playoff share. "I was spending most of (my energy) fighting battles within the team."

"It seemed like every game, we had something else going on, every shootaround, every practice. That's what was going on here. You guys (reporters) don't know the half of it."

"We couldn't get it done. The ship had ton many holes. We had too much going on. Things just caught up with us."

Magic Johnson Johnson refused to name names or discuss specific incidents.

Three players missed Friday's meeting -- starting point guard Nick Van Exel, backup guard Sedale Threatt and forward Anthony Miller, Van Exel and Miller didn't return from Houston with the team.

Van Exel was suspended for the final seven games of the regular season for pushing an official and forward Cedric Ceballos suddenly left the team in March with no explanation and missed two games.

The two-time defending NBA champion Rockets beat the Lakers 102-94 Thursday night to win the first-round best-of-5 playoff series 3-1.

"It's too bad, too bad," Johnson said. "We needed to be focused all the way to beat Houston. We were fighting each other so much. I'm not about that. We've got the talent. We've got to sacrifice more.

"Del (Harris) is a good man, a good coach. He gave us too much leeway. Hopefully next year, he'll just put his foot down. I'm sure he will. He'll look at this year."

Johnson, who turns 37 in August, said right now, his choices is to return as a player next year, and he hopes it's with the Lakers. Jerry West, the Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations, said a decision about Johnson's future will be made in the next few months.

Johnson said he wants to play more at point guard.

"I can't go out like this, I don't want to," he said. "This is not my style, this is not what I came back for. I don't know what I'm going to do. As of today, I want to play next year. I just want to win. I don't have to be a starter. I have to play better."

Johnson led the Lakers to five championships and nine berths in the NBA Finals in 12 years before retiring in November 1991 after learning he had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS.

Top 10 Excuses for Not Getting Anything Done

  1. IT'S UNPLEASANT No doubt it is. But is it going to become less unpleasant as time goes on?
  2. IT'S NOT DUE YET Right! So now you have an opportunity instead of a problem. An opportunity to gain some lead time, to do the job the way it ought to be done, to be in control and to work at your own pace instead of being a slave to a clock or a calendar.
  3. IT'S TOO EARLY IN THE DAY Some salesmen make frequent use of this one, believing it's better not to make calls before prospects have a chance to handle the mail and get their day satarted. The successful ones, however, recognize this rationalization for what it is: an excuse for indolence.
  4. IT'S TOO LATE IN THE DAY Successful salesmen know that one of the secrets of success is the extra business they can get by making just one more call every day before quitting, rather than conning themselves into calling only at the "optimum" time.
  5. IT'S DIFFICULT Never let the difficulty of a task stand as an adequate reason for not acting; force yourself to identify precisely what it is to be gained in the long run by delay. In most cases, you'll find you can't. The harder something is, the greater the challenge and the sweeter the fruits of accomplishment.
  6. I DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING IT NOW Good. That gives you a wonderful opportunity to prove to yourself that you are not a captive of your moods.
  7. DELAY WON'T MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE This is perhaps the most common rationalization of all ... and the most erroneous. Delay does make a difference, nearly always. It diminishes the chance that the task will ever get done; it increases the likelihood that it will be done haphazardly; it robs you of the confidence that comes from knowing that you are completely in control; and it reinforces a bad habit that is sure to cause you trouble in connection with other matters.
  8. IF I PUT IT OFF, SOMEBODY ELSE MIGHT DO IT That might get the job done, but it won't do much for your reputation among your friends, or family, assuming that you are the logical person to have done the task.
  9. I'M TOO TIRED Learn to look for the "second wind" that comes quite often if you just hang in there for a few minutes longer. Don't call it quits every time you run into that "first layer of fatigue."
  10. I'M TOO BUSY RIGHT NOW A fine, universal, irrefutable, all-purpose rationalization for the would-be procrastinator.


The basketball game was nearly over. The score was Virginia Tech 77, Florida State 77. Had these long-standing rivals battled to exhaustion only to tie one another? No.

Florida State missed a shot. Six-foot, five-inch forward Les Henson grabbed the rebound. With just one second remaining, he turned and threw the ball eighty-nine feet, three inches -- the full length of the court. Swish! His amazing shot caused the net to ripple only slightly as the ball passed through the hoop.

The horn sounded. The scoreboard flashed the final score: Virginia Tech 79, Florida State 77. The gymnasium erupted in pandemonium, with the Tech fans screaming their approval.

Tech's coach was on the floor, incoherent, and the players jumped on each other's backs. Everybody associated with Virginia Tech was in a state of euphoria, except Les, who sat quietly on the bench.

Reporters swarmed onto the court, thrusting microphones at him. "Les! You've set a new collegiate record! The longest field goal in the history of college basketball. Why aren't you celebrating like everybody else?" the reporters asked. Les just smiled and calmly said, "Hey, that's where I was aiming."

Here's What You Can Do:
Emulate Les Henson. Set goals and EXPECT to achieve them. Then, when you DO achieve them, as you will, don't be surprised. Just smile and say to yourself, "Well, that's where I was aiming," and set your next goal a little higher.

"If you're not going to compete,
then I'll dominate you."

Michael Jordan When I step onto the court, I'm ready to play. And if you're playing against me, then you'd better be ready, too. If you're not going to compete, then I'll dominate you. If it's going to be, "I'll let you score and you let me score," then no thanks. It's not good basketball. Basketball is about competition. That's the essence of the game. If you're letting somebody score on you and he's letting you score on him, like an all-star game or something like that, then that's not competing. Then it's just a show, an exhibition with everybody acting like they're playing. If that's the case, I'd rather not play.
--Michael Jordan

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