More on John Wooden

March 23, 2013 by Joshua
in Blog, Education, Fitness, Leadership

I found a couple more videos on John Wooden, whom I wrote about yesterday.

First, some thoughts on him by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the top players of all time.

He is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, with 38,387 points. During his career with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards. In college at UCLA, he played on three consecutive national championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games. At the time of his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, and personal fouls.

Look at the respect, humility, and reverence with which he speaks about his coach. I can’t help but compare it with players today, not that I witness much first-hand. Note the values he describes — in particular, putting education first, and how broadly the coaching applies to life, not just basketball.

Do people you lead talk about you this way?

Do you impact them this much?

And now here is the man himself. I can’t help but notice how polite and humble he sounds. And how much he focuses on playing and doing your best over the outcome.

Is it hard to reconcile his valuing the process over the outcome with his incredibly successful outcomes? I think it’s easy to say that’s what did it, but I have to imagine many of his competitors coached similarly but still lost to him. Maybe not. I’m not sure.

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