Successful people are at risk of forgetting where they came from. They often lose touch with the young professional who worked 16-hour days to attain a loftier position. They sometimes forget about the child who dreamed of being in the spotlight as an entertainer or athlete. They occasionally find the responsibilities that come with fame and wealth to be more a burden than a privilege. Case in point: a routine ball signing when I was with the Celtics. When requests came in for signed basketballs for a charity or a school or an individual, the players would pass the balls around the locker room sign them, and deposit them in a bag in the center. Then I would sign them. Once, when I removed the balls from the bag, I found that only two players had legible signatures. The balls were covered with indecipherable scrawls.
I got on the guys. I said, “You work all your life to get to the point where people want your autograph, and nobody can even read you signature. Every ounce of perspiration you left on the playgrounds, every hour you put into footwork drills and conditioning and studying film – all of that was done to reach this level and play for the Boston Celtics. Don’t scribble your name and number. Be proud of your name and number that you work so hard to make valuable.
From Rebound Rules by Rick Pitino