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Thunder vs Lakers :: My 5 Predictions (Round 2 NBA Playoffs)

It’s a huge night in my city as The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Los Angeles Lakers for Game 1 of round 2 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. This game is going to be huge, extra physical and the winner could actually find themselves in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. That’s considering the Clippers can handle the Spurs and the Heat don’t fold to the Pacers.

This game is going to be intense, especially since the last time the Thunder faced the Lakers Ron Artest gave the cheap shot elbow to 6th man of the year James Harden. Artest was recently quoted as saying he’s not going to shake the #Thunder players’ hands and he doesn’t shake the subs hands anyways, only the starters. Maybe it’s just me, but Ron Artest makes it really hard to like him or the Lakers. I have grown to respect Kobe, not only because he’s one of the best to players to ever play the game and competes at a high-level at an old age; rather because he’s a straight shooter and respectable as a basketball player.

Three things are guaranteed tonight, the #Thunder fans will be jacked up out of this world. Ron Artest won’t receive a warm welcome and the Home Team will come away with a victory.

My Game 1 Predictions:

  • The announcers will say they have never heard a crowd this loud before.
  • Durant, Harden & Westbrook all have BIG offensive games.
  • Ron Artest will do something a little goofy… not Big goofy, just a little bit goofy.
  • Sefolosha will do a stellar job containing Kobe 3 quarters, Kobe will have solid 4th quarter.
  • Thunder win 105-99.
  • Bonus: I will tweet no less than 25 times during the game!

Those are my predictions… What do you think of my 5 6 predictions. Share your predictions. 

Don’t Just Focus On Your Job… Focus On Your Dreams!

When it comes to work, life, achievement and success we have always been trained to “Focus On Your Job!” If you want to get better, you need to Focus On Your Job! I would agree that it’s important to give attention and priority to our jobs, as they are the primary source of paying the bills, providing for our families and fulfilling the mission of the organization we have committed ourselves to.

Additionally, I would argue that you “Shouldn’t Just Focus On Your Job!”  What I mean by this is I think it’s equally, if not more important for people to spend time focusing on their dreams. If you only focus on your job and not your dreams, I believe that you can squelch your inner creativity, energy, passion and zeal.

I have always encouraged those that have worked for me to spend time during their days, weeks and months focusing on their dreams. Sometimes that time would be within the workday and others would be outside of the workday. It’s not a matter of when you give time to your dreams, it’s a matter of giving your dreams some dedicated attention and focus.

As I look back at some of my employees I encouraged not to simply focus on their job, I can see the path of them chasing their dreams and those dreams becoming a reality. Several individuals whom worked for me when I was a young prison warden, are now business owners living out some of their dreams. One of those individuals operates one of the largest counseling agencies in the state of Oklahoma.

Theses particular individuals were all super-performers for our organization, while simultaneously spending time focus on the dreams and passions that God had placed inside of them. It was a Win-Win situation. I have seen this play out effectively with many individuals, on several different teams and in numerous types of environments.

I know this may seem like are asking individuals to slight their job or not give their priorities full attention. That’s not the case at all. It’s a simple matter of helping those on your team to be energized, motivated, encouraged, inspired and better by sipping from the inner fountain of their dreams.

This past week Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III RG3 was drafted as the 2nd pick overall by the Washington Redskins. RG3’s quote and advice to young people was this, “Don’t just chase your dream… Go catch your dream!” That applies to all of us, we have to go catch our dreams and that’s impossible to do, if we don’t give our dreams time, attention and focus.

Don’t just focus on your job… Focus on your dreams!

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Why Ron Artest Will Be Suspended 10 Games For Elbow On James Harden

If you have yet to see the Ron Artest cheap shot elbow on a defenseless James Harden you can watch the video above. This video has several other links attached to it, one being some commentary from Stephen A. Smith and the other is Ron Artests post game interview. I appreciate Stephen A. Smith’s honesty and candor regarding this incident and how the league will probably respond.

I am going to start off by saying that I think Ron Artest should be suspended for at least 10 games. Why 10? Because I feel that the league should take a hard stance that it doesn’t tolerate vicious acts that could ruin someone’s career and potentially affect their life. Artest’s elbow cheap shot not a basketball move and Commissioner Stern must handle guys like Artest with a stern hand.

The NBA has such a great product and can’t tolerate thuggery from guys like Bynum & Artest. Bynum taking off his shirt and taking out JJ Barea and Artest clothes lining Barea last year, simply because Barea was lighting the Lakers up. This year’s version of the clothes line was Artest’s ferocious elbow to Harden’s head. I’m not sure that it’s a coincidence that Harden was one of the leading scorers in the game at the time of the incident.

This reminds me of back in the day in the sport of boxing when Tyson went from being one of the best boxers ever to settling for cheap shots and cheap bites. Just like there is no place for biting ears in boxing, there is no place for ridiculous cheap shots in Basketball, especially from a culprit that has a history of this type of negative behavior.

I know that Artest has come a long was and has made progress… so what; the NBA can’ set on the side aimlessly waiting for his next devastating move. If this was someone that had a history of domestic violence or any other kind of violence and they relapsed, we wouldn’t excuse it away by saying that “Ohh, but he’s done so good.”  This is professional Basketball where men get played millions to compete and entertain the fans.  It’s a great game and Artest must be handled with swift and decisive punishment for his actions.  We all must be held accountable for what we do.

There have been some great players suspended 10 games for violation of the NBA’s drug policy and I’m sorry, you can’t tell me that cheap shot elbow isn’t more detrimental to the league, players and game than violation of the NBA’s drug policy.

Ron Artest has become to basketball what Mike Tyson became to boxing and as much as I liked Iron Mike in his heyday, what he did to the sport of boxing was disgraceful and boxing has never recovered. I know some people may be thinking that what Artest did wasn’t that serious; however if that hit to Harden’s head would have connected just right and Harden had a career ending injury they would think otherwise. We still don’t know the extent of Harden’s injury.

I refuse to call someone Metta World Peace when his actions equate to Metta World Violence. Ron Artest should be suspended 10 games or more and if he has another incident like this, he should be suspended indefinitely.

Don’t get me started on Ron Artest’s post game interview claiming it was an accident. I served as a Prison Warden for many years and one thing I learned to appreciate from some of the mature self-aware inmates was their embracing of this old saying, “If you do the crime, you have to do the time.”

What do you think of the incident and do you think Ron Artest get a 10 game or more suspension? Share your thoughts!


License To Lead

I have been in a number of conversations with friends, colleagues and clients where the topic of discussion has been the inability or freedom to lead. I just recently had a conversation with a Senior Leader of a very large organization about this very problem. (could be a church, non-profit or business) I’ll let your imagination fill-in that blank.

This guy is a strong, gifted, visionary leader who is being hamstrung by his governing body. Not only is the this crippling him, it’s setting their organization back years.

Just like the famous triple crown horse Secretariat needed to be freed up to run, not only run, but run the race that only he could run. That’s the same situation for leaders being held back in organizations around the country. Leaders want to be free, they want to run and they want to lead.

Organizations and organizational leaders have an opportunity and responsibility to free up their race horses to run and to lead. These races must be within the boundaries of the established organization; however it should be encouraged that they push those boundaries to the limit.

The potential for greatness exists at all levels throughout most organizations and a major hindrance is control and an unwillingness to let the horses run their race. Leaders are looking for a License To Lead.

The famous quote from the movie Secretariat are this, “Let him run his race.”

Let them run their race!

Kevin Durant Dunks on Roy Hibbert

Durant dunks on Hibbert and his entire family…

Share your thoughts on this dunk or the announcers call.

Video – Ray Lewis Delivers Powerful Speech To Standford Basketball Team

Ray Lewis is ridiculous when it comes to inspiring, people and players to action. Ray delivered this speech to the Stanford Basketball team prior to the game during the NIT tournament.

If you want to know how good of a motivator Ray Lewis is and the power of a locker room speech take 2:22 out of your day and watch this.  Oh and BTW Stanford won the tournament.

Share your thoughts on the speech.

Amazing Life Lesson From Derek Fisher Going To The Oklahoma City Thunder

The 5 Championship Ring NBA Veteran Point Guard Derek Fisher was traded to the Houston Rockets and worked a buyout and chose to play with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  As a Thunder fan that really excites me for the future and champion aspirations. Then Thunder will now have both Harden & Fisher who can both do some damage off of the bench.

Fisher chose to wear number 37, because as he simply states, “that’s my age.” The 16 year NBA veteran and President of the NBA Players Union has lots of life experience, knowledge and wisdom that is represented by that #37 Thunder Jersey that he now proudly wears.

Fisher’s classy persona fits well with the classy bunch of Oklahoma City Thunder players and the best fans in the NBA. In life we have lots of situations and experiences where we can learn some major life lessons if we are willing to open our eyes. I think there is major life lesson for everyone from Derek Fisher’s trade and acquisition.  Read through the life lesson in this statement that Fisher made yesterday:

“Like I stated earlier, I’m going to do my best right now to refrain from focusing too much, if at all, on what has transpired, what was said, what could have happened, what should have happened,” Fisher said. “I’m more focused on the positives of why I’m here. I’ll be able to address those things in due time…. Right now it’s about the Thunder and Oklahoma City.” ~Derek Fisher

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Stop focusing on what has transpired but rather what God has for you.

Check out this video below of Fisher’s 1st appearance in a Thunder Uniform (Standing Ovation)


Share your thoughts on this life lesson or your thoughts on the Derek Fisher trade and what it means for the OKC Thunder.

The Life Of The #Thunderup Hashtag

My man @Rt44man sent me an infographic of The Life of The #Thunderup Hashtag.  He had created it over @visually.  @Visually is a really creative site that allows you to create some really cool things.  I had some glitchy problems creating some of the Life of A Hashtag; however I’m sure it’s just some bugs that @visually are working out.

The Life Of The #Thunderup Hashtag

The cool thing about the #Thunderup hashtag is that your boy (me) is one of the top influencers along with the bearded one @JHarden13.  Enjoy the history and life of the hashtag of the 2012 NBA Champions Oklahoma City Thunder. #Thunderup


Twitter Proves To Be Ultimate #SuperBowl Fill-In

Even prior to the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVI, Twitter proved to be the ultimate fill-in. By fill-in, I’m referring to the fact that Twitter served as the great bridge for time and space. It didn’t matter whether you were an emphatic fan or the casual observer simply looking forward to the Super Bowl commercials, Twitter provided instant and on-going engagement.

Whether it was the New England wide-receiver Tiquan Underwood ( @TiUnderwood ) who was cut on Super Bowl eve sharing his game thoughts, @mashable hosting a live Super Bowl commercial chat or the millions of others who were joining in on some type of Twitter Super Bowl chatter. Bottom line is Twitter was the place to be, share and comment; additionally Twitter doubled as advertisement for the commercials that worked and those that missed the mark.

Twitter has changed the way people view events and the way that people engage culture. It’s the fill-in that provides instantaneous feedback. If you want to know what people really think about Howard Stern being one of the new hosts of America’s Got Talent, simply check your Twitter during the fill-in times. My observations were that most people were not fans. On the other hand, people were fans of the Volkswagen commercial that had some continuation of last year’s Darth Vader commercial.

If you want to know what people thought about Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of the National Anthem or whether or not the 53 year-old Madonna still has “It,” all you had to do was check twitter. People were able to fill-in their time with thoughts with everything ranging from Cee-Lo’s dress-like choir robe to the nun-like robes sported by the rest of the choir. Unfortunately for Madonna, many people had opinions on her performance and her wardrobe malfunction fall that NBC didn’t do a good job of editing out.

Time and space no longer have to be boring, lackluster or uneventful, because Twitter serves as the ultimate fill-in. Twitter continues to prove it’s game changing, news breaking and people connecting ability. Twitter allows people the luxury to think out loud and those thoughts to be shared with people around the globe. If you don’t want to think out loud, you can at least casually observe the thoughts of others.  No matter what you think or how you think, here is some food for thought: According to Tech Crunch, Twitter reportedly received over 10,000 tweets per second during the last 3 minutes of the Super Bowl.  That’s what you call filling in a lot of time and space.

My final Super Bowl thought while filling in time and space on Twitter was this, “Tomorrow’s Headline: ‘The Playbook of Eli.’ #superbowl

Is Twitter the ultimate fill-in? Did you use Twitter to fill-in time and space? If so, please share your interactions and observations.

You Must Be Willing To Get Posterized

Posterized A slang term depicting a play in basketball. In said play, a player dunks the ball over top or in front of another player, making a play so picturesque that it may appear on a poster, hence the term, posterized.  (Blake Griffin makes a living out of posertizing NBA players.)

For those of you that follow sports you know that @blakegriffin is a freak of nature and is an ESPN top 10 highlight reel waiting to happen.  I happen to know Blake and his family, as they attended the Campus that I pastored for many years. (casual name drop)

Blake has always had an amazing knack for the rim and ability to finish with a power dunk.  With the recent addition of one of the best point guards and floor generals in the game, Chris Paul, it’s power dunk to the nth degree.  So much so that the LA Clippers arena is nicknamed Lob City because of what Chris Paul combined with DeaAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin can do with the alley-oop.

Recently Blake Griffin did a monster dunk on OKC Thunder Big Man, my man Kendrick Perkins. The dunk has received over 3 million views and counting on YouTube.  You can check it out here.  I personally have seen way more powerful dunks by Blake Griffin than the Kendrick Perkins contested dunk.

The next game after the Big Posterization dunk on Kendrick Perkins, Blake Griffin and the Clippers faced the Utah Jazz.  Every time Blake got close to the rim, players were scurrying like a bunch of scared mice, because they didn’t want to get posterized.  It’s not only happening with Blake Griffin, but often times you will see players vacate the scene because they don’t want to get posterized.

In life or in basketball, if you want to be successful and you want to be a winner you must be willing to get posterized.  Don’t back down from a challenge, a promotion, taking a risk, facing an opponent or contesting one of the most prolific dunkers in the game.  Go after em’, give it what you got and be willing to get posterized.  Kendrick Perkins’ response to the posterization sums up what I’m trying to say, “It happens… At the end of the day, if you’re a shot blocker, you’re going to get dunked on.” At the end of the day if you give it all that you have in life, business, sports etc. you’re going to get dunked on.

The ones that will be successful in the end are the ones that are willing to take a risk, the ones that are willing to get posterized.  That poster is a symbol that you were willing to try and not run away like a scared coward.  I’d much rather have a guy like Kendrick Perkins on my team than these other guys who are running scared.  That timid business is just weak sauce…  no matter the task; give it all that you have.

Our 26th President Theodore Rooselvelt spoke about those that are not willing to get posterized,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Why is this generation a generation that is unwilling to get posterized?  Share your thoughts on this new generation of cold timid souls.

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