I Asked A Ton Of Questions.

One of my favorite parts from Kobe Bryant’s The Mamba Mentality How I Play book is the page with the heading I Asked A Ton Of Questions. In that page, Kobe shares:

I asked a ton of questions.

I was curious. I wanted to improve, learn, and fill my head with the history of the game. No matter who I was with—a coach, hall of famer, teammate—and no matter the situation—game, practice, vacation—I would fire away with question after question.

A lot of people appreciated my curiosity and passion. They appreciated that I wasn ’t just asking to ask, I was genuinely thirsty to hear their answers and glean new info. Some people, meanwhile, were less understanding and gracious. That was fine with me. My approach always was that I’d rather risk embarrassment now than be embarrassed later, when I’ve won zero titles.

Image by : Andrew D. Bernstein

Caitlin Clark is worth the money.

Pay Caitlin Clark what’s she worth. Nothing less.

Underrated : Thoughts on the documentary

I finished watching the Stephen Curry : Underrated documentary on Apple TV.

The documentary tells of almost a fairy tale like story of how Stephen Curry who was overlooked throughout his basketball journey (high school, college, early NBA years) to ultimately becoming a 4 time NBA champion (so far). Stephen’s journey to the NBA was filled with challenges and underestimations. However, he kept going, working on his game, and continued to reach newer heights.

Stephen had a lot of people helping him on his basketball journey – family, coaches, team members, and the community. He emphasized how important his Davidson coach, Bob McKillop and his Davidson team members were critical to his confidence and growth on the basketball court especially in his early years at Davidson.

It’s an incredible sports documentary and highly recommend watching it for Stephen Curry fans as well as for any sports fan.

Will you have the audacity to wave ’em off?

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks waved off his teammates to take the game winning shot in Toronto against the Toronto Raptors on February 14, 2012.

Why is this a big deal?

It’s a big deal because we witnessed an Asian man in the NBA have the confidence to say that I’ve got this and led his team to victory. We need to see more visible Asian role models in sports, media, colleges/universities and workplaces have the confidence to lead just like Jeremy did that night on February 14. These individuals have put in the work, earned it and now it’s time to take credit for it. It’s been long overdue.

I could think of few questions to start empowering the current and next generation of Asians to have the audacity to wave ’em off (said in positive sense) when the time comes.

Are we encouraging children to speak with confidence at home and at school?

What’s the mindset that the parents and culture are creating for their children?

Who are the kids’ current role models and why?

Are the children and youth able/given the opportunity to see more individuals that look like them in sports/media/colleges/universities and workplaces?

Are parents and mentors having meaningful conversations and discussions around documentaries such as 38 at the Garden?

I’d love to hear other thoughts and suggestions on how to empower the current and next generation of Asians.

Inspired to write this blog after reading Dave Lu’s The Audacity to Wave ‘Em Off and watching the documentary 38 at the Garden

You’ll be the co-captain of the varsity team!

That’s what my high school basketball coach told me after having joined the team just a few weeks ago. Basketball was still a new sport to me. I had not played much basketball growing up but fell in love with the sport instantly.

My coach knew my grades and wanted to set an example to the other teammates that academic excellence was equally important as your on court basketball excellence. She saw the potential in me and made me the co-captain of the team. She made our star varsity player the other co-caption of the team. In practice, I was paired with the best basketball player we had on the team and he taught me better techniques in dribbling, shooting free throws, and taking jump shots. During our lunch break, I would tutor our best basketball player in math. My coach had orchestrated a genius plan to harness our individual strengths and use that to help members of the team. Since I was new to the game of basketball, she encouraged me to pick up handball to improve my hand to eye coordination. She was always looking out for me and I thank her so much!

After my high school varsity team experience, I played intramural basketball in college, pick up games, and even annual basketball tournaments. The basketball court is where I belong. In a way, playing basketball is a language for me that enables me to connect with individuals from all walks of life, from various corners of the world, and feel a sense of belonging. My high school basketball coach helped me find a place where I felt a sense of belonging.

A basketball evening to remember

I saw Michael Jordan in person for the first time in my life. He was about to go on stage with Vanessa Bryant and induct my favorite player of all time, Kobe Bryant into the Basketball Hall of Fame. This particular event was part of the Enshrinement Weekend, where the new class to the Hall of Fame is honored and joins the ranks of Basketball’s Finest. It was a memorable basketball event that Anshu and I had ever attended at Mohegan Sun on May 15, 2021.

I already knew that Michael Jordan was going to induct Kobe Bryant into the Basketball Hall of Fame. I don’t know why I seemed surprised when I ACTUALLY saw Jordan in the same arena as I was in. As long as I have been following the NBA since the early 2000s, Michael Jordan’s name has been synonymous with greatness and considered to be one of the greatest players of all time. It felt right that Kobe picked his favorite player to induct him into the ranks of Basketball’s Elite.

I vividly remember everything that happened that day. I was very excited and did not want to miss any moment of seeing a current or former player, coach, sports announcer or someone from the basketball world that I have seen on TV walk around the halls of Mohegan Sun. I even brought my Kobe book, “Kobe Bryant The Mamba Mentality” in case I wanted to get it signed. I am not sure whom I was planning to get that book signed by, but I felt that if I carry it to the event, I would meet someone who would. 

After picking up our admission tags and basketball swags at the Registration table, Anshu and I walked around the various sections of Mohegan Sun. We saw fans wearing the jerseys of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and others who have come from near and far for this year’s coveted class of basketball icons. I was thinking to myself how special this class of inductees were. The Class of 2020 included 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens and longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann. The Class of 2020 inductees can definitely be argued as one of the best class yet.

This evening was special as well as bittersweet for me. I loved watching Kobe Bryant play and have been a fan since his early Championship years with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, I never went to see him play in a basketball arena in the 20 years he played in the NBA. That has been my basketball regret and I wanted to be present when Kobe was getting inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. 

Inside the Mohegan Sun Arena where the Enshrinement event took place, it was buzzing with so much energy and excitement. I probably could have stood up the entire event and watched the ceremony, but since it was almost a three hour event, it was better that I got seated. We were scouting the venue to find a former Hall of Famer, current player, or coach. Near the main stage, we saw Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Kim Mulkey, Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, Manu Ginoblili, Tamika Catchings, Doc Rivers, Pau Gasol, Nav Bhatia, friends, and families of the Class of 2020 inductees among others. I was soaking in every second of this basketball extravaganza. 

Kevin Garnett was the first athlete to get inducted by Isiah Thomas into the Hall of Fame. We enjoyed the highlight reel of KG on the big screen followed by his speech. One by one the coveted members of the 2020 class were coming to the stage and sharing their stories. Although each inductee’s story was unique, I really enjoyed hearing Tamika’s story as it was poignant and memorable. There was even a heart-warming performance by musical artist Ne-Yo.

When Kobe Bryant’s highlight reel came on the main screen, I got emotional. This was the moment that my favorite basketball player would be inducted into the ranks of basketball luminaries. Vanessa Bryant, assisted by Michael Jordan, went to the stage and delivered a heartfelt and personal speech. Kobe’s relentless work ethic, dedication to the game of basketball, and contributions on and off the court had touched millions of lives around the world. I was touched as well and felt sentimental being in the arena to see him get inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, where he rightfully belonged.

Here’s a piece of advice…

Giving advice to someone is a tough ask. When someone reaches out to you for advice, you are put in a position of authority or power. It could be that the person seeking your advice thinks you are the right person, have the relevant experience, have information that others don’t or for any other reason. In essence, if someone asks for advice, he or she is looking for some sort of an answer from you. It’s a tall order to give accurate and meaningful “advice” to another person.

In his book, WILL, Will Smith says this about advice “The thing I’ve learned over the years about advice is that no one can accurately predict the future, but we all think we can. So advice at its best is one person’s limited perspective of the infinite possibilities before you. People’s advice is based on their fears, their experiences, their prejudices, and at the end of the day, their advice is just that: it’s theirs, not yours. When people give you advice, they’re basing it on what they would do, what they can perceive, on what they think you can do. But the bottom line is, while yes, it is true that we are all subject to a series of universal laws, patterns, tides, and currents – all of which are somewhat predictable – you are the first time you’ve ever happened. YOU and NOW are a unique occurence, of which you are the most reliable measure of all the possibilities.”

A powerful and practical way to approach this situation when someone reaches out to you for advice is to say “I am happy to share with you what has worked for me.” An example of this in real life is to watch this video of Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” speaking to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of their GeniusTalks series, reflecting on his career as an athlete and actor, and sharing lessons he learned along the way.

Sports documentaries that are worth it (updated October 2022)

As a sports fanatic, I’ve devoured the sports documentaries available in various streaming platforms. Some of those documentaries I’ve gone back and watched it again because the stories are told in a riveting way and have had a huge cultural impact.

Here are the sports documentaries or documentaries based on sport figures that I really enjoyed watching (in no particular order).

Tiger (HBO) – Tiger is a two-part documentary offering a revealing look at the rise, fall, and epic comeback of global icon Tiger Woods.

38 At The Garden (HBO) recognizes a pivotal moment in time for Lin, and celebrates a phenomenon that was bigger than basketball for the world. 

Being Serena (HBO) – Being Serena is a documentary series chronicling tennis icon Serena Williams at a pivotal moment in her personal and professional life.

Tony Parker: The Final Shot (Netflix) – This film examines the background and career of Tony Parker, whose determination led him to become arguably the greatest French basketball player.

The Redeem Team (Netflix) – After their shocking performance at the 2004 Olympics, the US men’s basketball team seeks redemption as they pursue Gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The Playbook A Coach’s Rules For Life (Netflix) – Coaches with championship résumés share their personal rules for success in sports and life in this reflective and inspiring documentary series.

Untold: Malice at the Palace (Netflix) – Key figures from an infamous 2004 incident between players and fans at an NBA game in Michigan discuss the fight, its fallout and its lasting legacy.

Take the Ball, Pass the Ball (Netflix) – Through firsthand accounts and analysis, this football documentary details the dominance of FC Barcelona from 2008-2012 under manager Pep Guardiola.

Noami Osaka (Netflix) – This intimate series follows Naomi Osaka as she explores her cultural roots and navigates her multifaceted identity as a tennis champ and rising leader.

A Kid from Coney Island (Netflix) – From gifted athlete to professional NBA hooper, Coney Island’s Stephon Marbury navigates the pressures, pitfalls and peaks of his basketball journey.

The Last Dance (Netflix) – This docuseries chronicles the rise of superstar Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls, with unaired footage from an unforgettable 1997-98 season.

I Am Bolt (Prime) –  Competing in the 100m and 200m races, Usain Bolt attempts to make history by winning these events for a record third time.

Few books I’ve loved reading

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight – When I went to college, there was only one company I wanted to work for after graduation and it was Nike. This was one of the reasons why I studied abroad in Amsterdam, The Netherlands which was very close to Hilversum where Nike’s European headquarters was located. At that point, I had planned to either get an internship or a field visit to Nike’s Hilversum office. Neither happened at that point but Nike has always fascinated me with its creative ads, innovative products, and the athletes it endorses. When I heard about this book, I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to read it. I borrowed this book from a friend and finished reading it in a few days. This book is definitely one of the best memoir’s I’ve read. I loved reading about Phil’s journey of starting Blue Ribbon which later became Nike. There are so many gems inside the book-the high’s/low’s of starting a company, sacrifices made, cross-cultural challenges, among others. I could go on and on about the book but I rather you read it for yourself.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – In 2007, I had picked up a copy of Business Week and on its last pages was the list of bestsellers. One of them was How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I read the book and it has become one of my favorite books. The book has many stories that explain the simple principles and psychology of human behavior. I would recommend this book to anyone no matter what field or life stage they are in. I believe anyone can read this book, understand the characteristics of human nature, and apply the principles to their daily life.

Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwik – This was definitely a book I wanted to read soon as it was published. Once I read it, I wished I had found a book like this sooner. The book helped me become aware of our limited mental and cultural beliefs, common learning challenges, and techniques to unlock our limitless mindset. Having attended Jim’s weeklong Limitless Reading Challenge to several of his Instagram live sessions, I’ve always enjoyed hearing his insights, tips and strategies on unlocking our limitless mind.

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio – A book that is full of management lessons and ideas that Ray followed throughout the course of his life and journey of building his investment firm, Bridgewater Associates. I first learned about Ray Dalio’s book Principles on The Tim Ferriss Show and the title on Tim’s podcast was, Ray Dalio, The Steve Jobs of Investing. I followed up with reading Principles’ reviews on goodreads which made me want to read the book even more. Some readers on goodreads had said that Principles is one of the best books they have ever read. I couldn’t wait to read it myself and see what the book was all about. Once I got this book, I finished reading it in my daily commute to work.

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger – In my research on the art and science of questioning, I came across the book “A More Beautiful Question The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas.” I listened to several talks and podcasts that featured the author and became more interested to read the book. The book has a lot of interesting insights and detailed analysis on questioning from our environments at home, school, and in the workplace. It also makes a strong case of why the skill of asking really good questions is important now more than ever.

30 Stories: Stephen Curry

@stephencurry30 Story by @thestorieshub

Stephen Curry was born into a NBA family. His father, Dell Curry played in the NBA for 16 seasons. Stephen showed passion and promise for basketball from an early age. For college, Stephen wanted to play for Virginia Tech just like his father did but he was only offered a walk-on spot due in part to his slender 160-pound frame. Stephen ultimately decided to play for Davidson College who saw his potential and aggressively recruited him.

During the transition from high school to college, Stephen heard a lot of people saying that he was too small, not athletic enough, could not play defense, and not strong enough to play in the NBA. Those comments ignited Stephen at Davidson and also were similar to the comments he heard when going from college to the NBA.

At Davidson, Stephen had a phenomenal run in the NCAA tournaments and averaged about 30 ppg. In his final college season, Curry averaged 28.6 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.5 steals and was the NCAA scoring leader. He got selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 NBA draft. The early years at Golden State Warriors were challenging for Stephen because of his injuries, players and coaching changes to name a few. However, with the addition of new head coach, Steve Kerr in 2014, the fate of the franchise started to change. In the 2014-2015 season, Golden State closed out the series against Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first championship in 40 years with Stephen averaging 26 points and 6.3 assists per game in the Finals. That same year he won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

Bio: Stephen Curry is now a three time NBA champion, two time NBA Most Valuable Player and six time NBA All Star just to name a few of his highly coveted basketball accomplishments.

Image credit: Forbes

This story was first published on https://www.instagram.com/thestorieshub/

30 Stories: Jay Williams

@realjaywilliams Story by @thestorieshub

Jay Williams was a high school all-American, national player of the year, national champion at Duke, and the No. 2 overall NBA draft selection in 2002. He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and was on his way to play for the renowned basketball franchise. However, an afternoon in June, 2003 changed everything for Jay. He crashed his motorcycle on a side street on the north side of Chicago and the NBA journey that was about to begin fell short.

For years, Jay struggled with depression. He took a lot of pain medication for too long and even blew out the candles for his 22nd birthday in bed. He spent years in rehabilitation and at his lowest point, he even considered suicide. During recovery, he did physical therapy every day, often twice, for two years. Once he recovered after many years, he tried to return to the NBA and did a tryout with the New Jersey Nets. Later, he joined the Austin Toros in the Development League hoping for an eventual return to the NBA. When that dream to return to the NBA did not happen, he had to search for the next chapter in his life. 

The next chapter came with ESPN and ESPNU who saw Jay’s potential as an analyst. ESPN lauded Jay’s initiative for an analyst among ESPN’s youngest and his career goals included becoming the “African-American Matt Lauer.” He now says “I hope people remind me of my accident every day of my life because that means I’m a prime example of somebody who had it and lost everything and may not have gotten it back in the same capacity but still reinvented myself.”

Bio: Jay Williams is currently a very successful college basketball and NBA analyst for ESPN, and host of the ESPN+ sports business platform “The Boardroom.” In 2016, he released his memoir, “Life Is Not An Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention.” He is also a minority stakeholder in The Cabin NYC, a restaurant and bar.

This story was first published on https://www.instagram.com/thestorieshub/

30 Stories: Nike

Our mission is what drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainably, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.

Based in Beaverton, Oregon, NIKE, Inc. includes the Nike, Converse, and Jordan brands. 

Follow their stories @nike

Above text is from @nike About page.

Image credit: diginomica.com

30 Stories: Paras Khadka

@paraskhadka77 Story by @thestorieshub

Cricket always came first. There were other sports I liked growing up such as football, basketball, and table tennis. However, cricket was love at first sight. From the days I played club-level cricket on Saturdays, where match-winners would win the match ball and the losing team would pay for the cold drinks to playing and representing Nepal cricket on the world stage, my journey has been incredible. 

The proudest moments for me in my cricket career was when we played in the 2014 World Cup and when we achieved One Day International (ODI) status. Nepal felt like a different country after returning from playing in the World Cup, because cricket was played and viewed by the masses. Getting ODI status was also special because with it came recognition and a chance to play against teams with international status. Looking back, these are the two moments that I feel blessed to be a part of.

Join me as I share my story, perspectives, and all things Liverpool on my website and social media.

Bio: Paras Khadka was the captain of Nepal’s cricket team for 10 years (2009-2019). Follow him @paraskhadka77

Image credit: Paras Khadka Facebook page

This story was first published on https://www.instagram.com/thestorieshub/

30 Stories: Sipora Gurung

@siporagurung Story by @thestorieshub 

My father taught me various outdoor sports such as volleyball, football, and badminton at a young age. I was always a sporty girl from childhood. My father was a huge David Beckham and Manchester United fan and that’s where I get my love for Beckham and Manchester United from.

Almost 15 years ago, I picked up volleyball. Coming back from school at 4 pm and getting to volleyball training by 4:30 pm was my daily schedule. I have so many fond memories of playing volleyball from school level tournaments, to the National Women’s Volleyball Championship. Volleyball is the love of my life and the sport has provided me a global platform to connect with people from all around the world. 

I’m a mountain girl who loves hiking with my father in Nepal. A perfect Saturday for me is morning tea, hiking, and getting lost in nature.

Bio: Sipora Gurung played volleyball for Nepal’s National volleyball team starting at age 12. She has won numerous awards and accolades throughout her volleyball career. Follow her @siporagurung

Image credit: Nepalipaan

This story was first published on https://www.instagram.com/thestorieshub/

Book summary of The Sixth Man: A Memoir

I had put the book The Sixth Man: A Memoir by Andre Iguodala of the NBA champions Golden State Warriors on my book bucket list last year. I’m thrilled to have just finished reading it.

The Sixth Man is a beautifully written memoir. The book chronicles Andre’s upbringing in Springfield, Illinois, his high school and college basketball careers and eventually his journey in the NBA. Having always been interested in the stories of ball players and the NBA for a long time, the memoir gave me a glimpse into the life of one of the game’s smartest players. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in Andre, NBA, professional black athletes, Golden State Warriors, or just love to read a great story. Enjoy.

Klay Thompson talks financial wisdom

War Eagle. Auburn Football.

A coach

A really good manager is a good coach. The coach can guide, provide perspective and tools for their team members to succeed. I believe 80% of the team’s success (productivity, efficiency, effectiveness etc) depends on the manager. The rest on the team members’.

If the manager is a good coach, then not only the team members will grow in their professional careers but also the company will grow. The subtle difference between a manager and a coach is their approach to managing people.

Tony Hawk & Chris Sacca on taking risks, hustling, giving back & defining legacy

Watch this thought provoking and insightful video of Tony Hawk and Chris Sacca talking on various subjects.

LinkedIn Speaker Series: Andre Iguodala

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner sits down with Andre Iguodala, three-time NBA champion to discuss insights from Iguodala’s new book, The Sixth Man.