THE LAST DANCE

This series was well done! And full of provocative insights worth reading again and applying. Here are some of my favorite insights I pulled (and applied) from each episode.

EPISODE ONE

🏀 Hard to believe that anyone would want to remove who’s winning. “This is your last season even if you win 82 games.” 🤯🙄 I know that moving pieces around as a GM may eventually get you a championship team but tinkering around with a good thing can end the streak too. Even more demoralizing when you’re moving pieces around simply because you’re bored or craving control.

The role is to build, not tinker.

🏀 Some greats will only continue to be great under a certain coach. A will to win contributes to greatness. And a coach contributes to that will.

🏀 I’m beginning to think experts aren’t real. They’re just people who have a more powerful audience to give them a voice. I see too many “experts” miss the mark on their assessments of who ultimately become legends. (Or miss the mark on virus death rate projections, election results, weather, end times, etc….) Somewhere in your life – all our lives – at least one “expert” was wrong about you.

EPISODE TWO

🏀 You can still play like a champion and change the game even if you’re vastly undervalued.

🏀 I never want to be the one who undervalues a champion or someone who can change the game … regardless of a contract or outdated conversation. (Lord, tune my eyes to see who and what can bring fruit, not limit impact by what may frustrate my preference. And never let a “rule” stop me from pushing.)

🏀 Everyone else always knows about your trade before you do. Retirement is just about the only information a player can have full control over sharing. And that’s just sad. (I coach people on how to resign well. I’ve done it. And I’ve seen the trade gossip too. So own the story of your future. I can help.)

🏀 “The love of the game” is drained from players by the businessmen of the game faster than the game itself.

🏀 Don’t fake an autograph, the kids can spell.

EPISODE THREE

🏀 People want a mustang to talk about and claim as their own. But they forget that you don’t saddle a mustang.

🏀 If you’re going to hit someone, hit ‘em on purpose.

🏀 Greatest respect you can give a great player is to coach him hard. And riding ain’t coaching.

🏀 The better you get, the bigger the target on your back. And the shots don’t always come from the other team.

🏀 The greats demand a new set of rules to beat them. And likewise demand a new set of rules to leverage them.

EPISODE FOUR

🏀 Not everyone blows off steam the same way. And not in the same rhythm. Believe in people beyond your preference for how they unwind or process.

🏀 Leaders help people persevere, not just perform. Performance will come from that. It’s hard to put that kind of leadership on a scorecard or spreadsheet but this may be the thing that made Phil the greatest.

🏀 Sometimes more skill isn’t what’s needed but more strength. More grit. I think grit diminishes faster than skill, especially when worn away from the inside out.

🏀 “I’ll fight with you, just fight.” Needs to be said, not assumed. Someone in your life and under your leadership needs to hear it from you.

🏀 If they can’t get into your head, they can’t get into your league.

🏀 A stars secret weapon: draw and dish. IF and only IF he trusts his team.

🏀 “Performance and loyalty were just thrown out the window.” This will never cease to baffle me. I’ve seen it firsthand. Plateau and decline are more welcome than confrontation and success done differently than the boss desired. Incredible.

EPISODE FIVE

🏀 Everyone needs an agent!

🏀 Too many people could be better and even more beneficial to you and your organization if they had an advocate. Better yet if the advocate was good at their job.

🏀 There’s a documentary to be made in the future about the stories you started and legends you made through your advocacy.

🏀 Everyone wants to be Air Jordan’s agent, but few want to be Michael’s.

🏀 Go be that agent!

EPISODE SIX

🏀 “If you win too much they want you to lose.” That’s not just basketball and not just pro sports. Seen it myself. Maybe you too. Don’t be that guy.

🏀 If you scheduled a tee time, be on time.

🏀 People are quick to question your motives and actions in the present but are equally as quick to claim their lifelong loyalty to you in hindsight. Let them have their bandwagon, you ride up front.

🏀 Media politics is a necessary evil. But I’ll never fully understand why evil is necessary.

🏀 What you pack for a trip says what you believe about the trip.

🏀 Life happens. Win anyway.

EPISODE SEVEN

🏀 There’s gonna be an interview in 20 years where people celebrate what they originally ridiculed. Keep doing what you know to do, “they” aren’t with you, they’re just watching you.

🏀 “No one can rationalize why.”

🏀 Leave at the bottom and they say you shoulda quit sooner. Leave at the top and it must be a scandal.

🏀 Leaving seems to never be a good option for others. Staying for them shouldn’t be a good option for you.

🏀 Is it weird someone successful wants to climb down from the top to challenge himself in a new way? Or just weird because you‘re afraid to do it? 🤔

🏀 “My father already told me I was doing the right thing. So I did it.” – MJ

🏀 Is your Father’s voice all the confidence you need?

EPISODE EIGHT

🏀 “I was supposed to dominate him. And from that point on, I did.”
Own your dominance. Don’t flaunt it, don’t apologize for it, but own it.

🏀 Indignation is fuel.

🏀 Do I have the drive to train the morning after the season ends? 

🏀 I want my work ethic to bring my kids to tears like Jordan’s ethic did to his trainer.

🏀 You’re not a champion just because you’re the new guy on last year’s championship team. You gotta earn it.

🏀 I want the conviction and character to kick the worlds greatest player out of practice when necessary.

EPISODE NINE

An episode of decisions.

🏀 Sickness provides an option out, not a conclusion to quit. A decision to push is still up to you. Dig deeper.

🏀 It’s always a decision to trust someone. Whether they’ve performed or not, the decision is still yours, not fate. But if you need help picking, lean towards the fighters.

🏀 Tragedy happens. You can decide to show up the next day anyway.

🏀 Maturity from others can help you make sound decisions. Build a more experienced entourage. >>>

🏀 After the biggest game of the year, can you have the presence of mind to decide to serve someone else?

🏀 Life doesn’t happen to us. We decide what life looks like when things happen.

EPISODE TEN

🏀 All stories end. And every ending is a transition to another beginning.

🏀 After this documentary, the majority will forget about it as fast as they became enthralled by it. But stories aren’t impacted by those who watch them or critique them. Stories are impacted only by the one who lives them.

🏀 Live a story worth telling.

🏀 And steward well the story you lived.