Our new Arkansas Razorback basketball coach, Eric Musselman, was in Little Rock for a game at Simmons Arena and spoke at the Tip Off Club luncheon. As he walked to the podium, I was shocked at the sight of him. He is only 5’5”! I am taller than him!
Accustomed to the wide open, gawking mouths from people, when they first see him, he quickly broke the ice by making a joke about his height.
He said, and I am paraphrasing, “When I was the new coach for the NBA Sacramento Kings, I went to enter the gym’s back door, at an out-of-town game, and the security guard wouldn’t let me in. When I showed him my coaching pass, the guard thought I stole it and called security.”
But big things often come in small packages, as they say. For 30 minutes, Musselman commanded the room as he told funny stories and showed his depth of knowledge and passion for the game.
From being an interviewer on my radio show, I was compelled to raise my hand during the Q & A. I asked him what his biggest strength and weakness was.
He quoted his father, another NBA coach, “A man’s biggest strength is often his biggest weakness, too.” (If you’re a glass half-empty kind of person, you could say your weakness is also your biggest strength.) Musselman confessed that his was competitiveness. Which, while making him a good coach, sometimes made him a sore loser.
All day I thought about his daddy’s quote. I thought about myself; I’m energetic, open and fun loving. And true to his axiom, those attributes have served me well and have gotten me in a lot of trouble. Then I began to think about each of my friends and family and their traits. It was fun, and it held true!
I reflected; is this all part of that “learning to love yourself” cliché?
Have I just been coached by Musselman?