Where you go in life, or how you are perceived is largely based on what people think of you. Sure people can succeed, and be a jerk, or not well liked, but, those cases which are not extremely rare are not what I’m going for today.
What I’m going for today is likability in life. Take for example two different people and where their lives have gone and will go.
Pete Rose, arguably one of the best ballplayers to play in Major League Baseball. He’s been a part of baseball his whole life. A player that you wanted on your team, a guy who would go to war to win.
Pete holds 14 individual records in the sport he loves, including the BIG ONE – most hits in a career 4,256 – but, still is NOT in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why is that? The easy correct answer is because he is banned from both Major League Baseball, and the Hall of Fame. When one digs a little deeper, and you would not have to get half way to China for it, Pete was not a person that was well liked for whatever reason.
Pete gambled on sports as well as baseball during his career, which we all know is a “no-no,” but, even when he denied it, not one of his teammates stuck up for him. Not one got on the “Rose Express” and stood by his side. What does that tell you? Pete for some reason was not a “likable” person. Sure there were people that “liked” him… but didn’t really like him.
Now, the other side of the coin, Brad Stevens head coach of the Boston Celtics. Brad is only 39 and in his third year as head coach of the Boston Celtics. Prior to that he coached Butler University for 5 years (2007-2013) and was their assistant before that from 2001-2007. We would all agree that his time served in sports is relatively short compared to Rose.
What Stevens did last week shows the character of a great human being, one that will have him liked and revered by his players forever. Stevens left the Celtics last Thursday (1-7-16) to visit Andrew Smith hospital before his second bone marrow transplant (he visited he in November as well). Smith was a former player at Butler who was the team’s center during their back-to-back National Championship games. He had been in a 2 year battle and undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Smith lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday (1-12-16), he was 25.
Stevens has always preached that “family” is the most important thing in life, and for him to feel that “family”connection with a former player to take time out to visit him, should speak volumes of what type of person he is. His non-selfish actions will have won over players, fans, and coaches forever. Let’s put it this way the “Steven’s Express” will always be full.
Stevens may never reach the “career success” that Rose did… but I assure you Rose will never reach the “life success” that Stevens has already.
(I do feel Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame for his on field accomplishments, his ability at the plate and hustle was/is second to none).
(photos courtesy of: sports Boston, ifiweregm, sportsrants, indystar, wane)