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Summer 2000
Coach!
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Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Character is what you really are; reputation is what you are perceived to be.

I don't believe in praying to win. The prayer I'd like to hear beforehand is for nobody to get hurt and that you participate to the best of your own individual ability.

No matter how fine a person is at anything, he can always improve. No one ever reaches maximum potential.

It's like Abraham Lincoln said: "The worst thing you can do for those you love is the thing they could and should do for themselves."

I don't think I was a fine game coach. I don't think I was a great strategy guy. I think I was a good practice coach. I could tell you right now what we did at every practice I had at UCLA-every day, every minute. It's all on paper.

If the players weren't focusing in practice, I'd say, "That's it. Out. Come back tomorrow and be ready to go." Almost always, they'd say, "Give us another chance." And almost always, practice would go fine after that.

Balance. Balance. Balance. That's what's needed. Not just physical balance, but emotional balance, spiritual balance.

When the rule against dunking was enforced, I told Lewis (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) that it would make him a better player. He'd have to work harder on his hook shot, work harder on his bank shots around the board. The rule would do nothing but make him a better player. And, I added, "You won't forget how to dunk when you get to the pros."

You can't put dignity and personality into a person who doesn't have any.

Don't let making a living prevent you from making a life. There is no progress without change, though change is not necessarily progress. Sometimes we're so concerned about teaching our children that we forget parents should be taught, too.

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