Listen very carefully. When your family moves away from Três Corações, don’t forget the socks of your mother. If you forget them, your life may be very different.
Get up. Get up off your knees, Vernon. Because if you don’t, you’ll never forgive yourself, and you’ll leave this world with a broken heart.
In case you do end up following Mama’s footsteps, in life or in golf, here’s some of what I know so far. (And to the young girls also reading who want to be athletes, hopefully you learn something, too.)
Dear 12-year-old Dame: Listen to me. When the reporter comes to your locker with the empty cup, don’t freak out. Don’t curse. Don’t get offended. Don’t even react. This is a very important test for you. Just smile and go…
Learn to repeat this over and over, like your own little mantra: He’s just too small. Oh yeah? F--- you. He’s just too small. Oh yeah? F--- you.
Go to the magic place. I know — you were just there. I know, I know. But don’t be shy. I promise. Go there again ... Go to the ice.
Let’s back up to before you're a Piston, or a leader, or a winner, or a Big Shot — before any of that. You know what? Let’s back up to before you're even a point guard.
Kid, I’m from the future. I’m you, 50 years from now. You’re looking at me like, “You? The guy with the mustache and all the scars? What the heck happened to me?”
Dear 12-year-old Jason: You’re laughing. I’m telling you the truth, but you’re laughing.
So given the fact that you now know the damage football will cause, do you still think you should play?
There’s a lot for you to know heading into your rookie year in Toronto. Let’s start with some practical information — stuff that may not have been mentioned at the NBA rookie symposium.
Life isn’t going to be easy. Trust in yourself and learn from all the negative things you see around you. Eventually you’ll be able to look back on an amazing life you’ve built for yourself, your family and yes, even…