Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ensuring your passion is helping your team

Anthony Randolph's intensity manifests itself on the court.

"It made him slap a hard foul on Boston's Kevin Garnett and stare down one of his all-time favorite players — in Boston. It provoked him to scream at Houston center Yao Ming after he dunked on him — in Houston. It propels him to give his body for a block, a rebound, a loose ball, tempts him to take his man every time."

What he's learning is the difference between positive and negative energy.

"I've got to watch myself sometimes, that's the thing I'm trying to work on now," he said. "You've got to play mad. I'm more aggressive when I'm mad. It's not that I'm mad at a person. I'm just trying to go out there and go hard. Sometimes, I can get a little bit too excited, too amped up. I've got to learn how to control it."

Coaches love players who play with energy, enthusiasm, and passion. They appreciate the attitude and sense of urgency they bring to the court. Teammates feed off his energy.

The key, as Warriors veteran Stephen Jackson puts it, is channeling the energy in a constructive way.

"I love his passion. I love his fire for the game," said Jackson, who has dealt with a similar quandary. "That's something you can't teach. That's rare. ... He's going to have to learn, just like I had to learn, that it's a fine line between having too much passion and hurting your team, and having passion and helping your team."