“I was taught that you find out who players are just like how you find out about dogs. If you have a litter of dogs and you put them in the dark, put them in a corner, and you shake your keys, whatever dogs come to those keys, them’s the ones you want. They’re curious. They want to know what’s going on. They’re ready. They’re fighting. The ones who sit in the corner, they’re afraid. They don’t have the heart. That’s how I look at people. You put them in a situation and see how they act. Some of these great stars in the league, some of them are scared to take big shots. Some of them are scared to fail. Some of them don’t have the heart. You start seeing it and you start picking at it. Other people-like Earl Boykins, he’s a fourth-quarter player. Ben Gordon is a fourth-quarter player. The fourth-quarter player is the one you want. Me, I’m gonna shoot that shot every time. Every time.” – Gilbert Arenas
I read this quote in a magazine 5+ years ago when Hibachi, Agent Zero, or whoever you identify Arenas as, was still relevant in the NBA. It epitomizes the way we should all approach the game. Willing to take that last shot and being able to deal with the consequences of it going in or not going in. On the biggest basketball stage, taking these shots makes or breaks your career. For most everyday players like you and me, these shots don’t have much meaning in the grand scheme of things. You miss a game winning shot, and you won’t get death threats on Twitter. You go for that killa crossover, and your move won’t end up on SportsCenter’s Top 10 for the entire nation to see.
I guess the important lesson from this quote, as are most things I talk about on this blog, is the application to other parts of your life. Taking on a new job, starting a new relationship, being rejected for a job, being rejected by a girl–these are the types of things that test your heart.
Never be scared when it comes to matters of the heart. Take the shot every time.