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SLAM, Dime and Michael Jordan’s Plaground, by Mike Lee


Even though Dime and SLAM are primarily thought of as basketball entertainment, over the years I have read several articles, especially when I was younger, that influenced my basketball mindset.

When coaching the last 3 years I was constantly reminded that coaching is more managing your team, getting them to click and come together. You have to motivate individuals separately because each one has their unique “buttons” that need to be pushed.

The recurring question was always, How do I motivate these kids?  Why aren’t they working harder? Besides coming up with the seemingly cliché answer “kids are different” these days I wanted to know why. I started to think back to what I did when I was their age, 13-15, and why I played the game. A few things really stood out to me. Dime and SLAM, The Pistol: Birth of a Legend and Michael Jordan’s Playground. As I went back and watched these videos, read the articles and books I realized how much of an influence they had on me. Don’t get me wrong, I had great parents who supported me, but it didn’t matter to them what field of was in.

The Pistol Pete movie, as poorly filmed and directed as it was, taught me a ton about commitment and work ethic. It was crazy how, after going back and watching the video, I found that I had almost been repeating word for word some of the comments of Press Maravich to Pete. He was always talking about committing yourself to something and the work ethic that it takes to succeed.  I never realized until then how much it had influenced who I am as a person.  Michael Jordan’s Playground also taught me a ton about work ethic and anytime I needed a little boost I’d pop in the first 2 minutes of the video.

With the season winding down and most coaches not being able to spend as much time with their players in the off-season, you need to try and surround them with positive influences. It goes back to an earlier post of mine, “Show Me Your Friends, I’ll show you your future”. If you want good things to happen you have to surround yourself with positive influences, whether that is people, movies, or reading material. Commitment and work ethic are not goals, they are a lifestyle decision about who you want to become as a person and player.

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