Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Walt Frazier on leadership, tenacity, and having a plan

Terrific article in today's Investor's Business Daily about NBA legend and Hall of Fame guard Walt Frazier, one of my favorite players growing up. I loved his style of play, including his defensive prowess, which was often overshadowed by his play on the offensive end of the floor.

What I didn't know about until I read the story this morning was how much of a leader he was. The oldest of nine kids, Walt was put into a leadership role early on. Like LeBron, Walt worked overtime on his game. "I was always the first one at practice and the last one to leave. The other players could see that I practiced what I preached."

Frazier points out that while all of the guys in the NBA are talented, many don't succeed. Why?

According to Walt, it's a lack of "tenacity." "Talent is sometimes a detriment, because you take things for granted."

He also talks about his intense competitive spirit, remembering how, as a kid, he'd cry after losing a game. As a pro, the losses ate at him, as did the behavior of his teammates following a loss.

"After a loss, I'd go into the locker room and guys would be drinking beer and fooling around. I couldn't understand that. I took everything to heart."

An interesting sidenote: Today, the 63-year-old Frazier lives in the Virgin Islands.

Read the whole article here.