Earlier this week the two- time defending champion LA Lakers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs. In their last game things got particularly ugly. Two Lakers let their frustrations get the best of them and were ejected after blatant fouls that hurt a smaller opponent who was playing very well against them.
A couple of former Laker legends spoke about being embarrassed at how their former team behaved.
One was Jerry West. His story of character and mental toughness are so admirable that he literally is the NBA logo. (Learn more about his exceptional and inspirational life and career by clicking on his name.)
This recent incident provides a couple of important lessons to remember for all of those who currently play a high school sport. You should be aware of the bigger picture. It isn’t all about you or this year’s team. Someone wore that uniform before you. That former player still takes great pride in how well they represented their team and sport, their school and community. You represent that tradition. You honor those people or dishonor them with your actions. They still identify themselves with the program and always will.
Likewise, many little kids dream of wearing that same jersey someday. You are setting an example for them in everything that you do. Try not to lose sight of that responsibility.
Your actions today are a symbol of the past and a bridge to the future. Also remember that you were once that little kid and one day you will be that former player.
I just want you to know what is possible.