Court Vision with C.J. Lee
THURSDAY, OCT. 9 -- A Whirlwind of a Week
Hey, it has been a while since my last posting, but there has been a lot going on. But I am back and here are some of my thoughts of the last week.
Last Friday we had a workout with all the players and staff. It was good to get out on the court and compete as a team because we are transitioning from preseason conditioning to preseason practice. With that being said, we are entering into the last week of preseason which contains all of our conditioning, shooting and ball handling tests. I feel that we are ready because we all have put the time in to have success. Coach Beilein is all about us as individuals taking ownership of our game and by testing us on various drills, he ensures that we are doing this.
Saturday marked Homecoming and we had a lot of former players in town for our alumni tailgate. As a student athlete here, I am amazed at how much support we truly and genuinely have for our program. Talking with alumni makes you feel important and it is reassuring that people are interested in you and want you to have success. We have a responsibility as a team to uphold the history of our program and I think each player knows this and strives to keep the legacy going in his own way. Our alumni serve as a sounding board and as a resource for us players because they have walked in our shoes. We owe it not only to ourselves but we owe it to them to compete every night in order to get this program back were it is supposed to be.
This past Saturday marked the second weekend in a row I have met a celebrity. What can I say; this is a good time for me. Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet Isaiah Thomas but this weekend, I met Jay-Z at his concert in Detroit. He gave a free concert in order to encourage voting registration here in Michigan. My teammates Dave (Merritt), Jevohn (Shepherd) and I were able to meet him. Anybody that knows me knows that I have a passion for music. I can honestly say that I was speechless when my teammates and I met Jay-Z before the Operation Registration Concert. I had so much to say to him but when I was introduced to him, I could barely remember my name. The concert was great but I was physically tired afterwards because I wanted to rap every lyric with him. It is not everyday you get to meet one of the greatest musicians ever!
As we gear up for the season, sometimes I question whether my teammates and I take time out to enjoy the entire experience. This is something that is very difficult to do because you never want to relax when you are in an environment where you always have to prove yourself. Nonetheless, I do hope and pray that my teammates know that not every place is like Michigan, and not every experience is good as a whole. Our focus is to be the best we can be and we do this by competing at the highest level every day. With that being said, when things get tough, like they have been this week, you have to remember the passion you have for this game and the reason you came to Michigan in the first place.
I had a conversation with Greg Harden at one point last season and he told me that I needed to be a human being, not a human doing. What he meant by that was, often times I fought so hard to get here and to have success that it consumed me and I lost perspective. I focused too much on trying to please everyone and prove to them that I belonged instead of realizing that I was living my dream and everything that I wanted was right in front of me. I am here and nobody can take that from me, but most importantly, our team is here and we are approaching an important junction in our young season. We are a couple of days from having the weekend off but we cannot back into the finish line by giving sub par effort. We have to continue to push so guys can come back rejuvenated and ready to attack preseason practice.
Each day, we are getting closer and closer to game time. Our players and our coaching staff know that we have a lot more work to get done first before we can focus on game preparation. This is not the time to fade and fizzle out. This is the time to crank it up another notch because a lot of people are going to question are resolve, question our leadership, question our experience, and question our talent. This comes with the territory, and we cannot let this have a crippling effect on our team. We need to embrace the challenge but more importantly embrace each other as brothers.