NBA TV will debut a new episode of the critically-acclaimed Open Court, a roundtable discussion featuring a full cast of NBA TV and TNT commentators, on Wednesday, June 19, at 8 p.m. ET. Open Court: Keys to Life will feature candid discussions on the importance of having a mentor and planning for life after basketball, among other topics.
Sports Emmy® Award-winning studio host Ernie Johnson moderates the panel with Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller, five-time NBA Champion Steve Kerr, four-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal, five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber, two-time NBA Champion Brent Barry and NBA Champion Steve Smith.
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Quotes from Open Court: Keys to Life
Barkley on how playing basketball can strenghen work ethic: “I started playing basketball to stay out of trouble. I wasn’t any good but it kept me around better people. I love it when kids play sports because it teaches you how to work hard. One thing [all NBA players] have in common is we all work hard. You won’t be in the NBA [long] if you’re lazy or don’t have a good work ethic. It’s an unbelievable privilege to play in the NBA.”
O’Neal on wanting to play like Charles Barkley when he was growing up: “I wanted to be like [Charles] Barkley. One of my favorite players was Barkley. He was a big guy and they always tell big guys not to dribble but Barkley would take it off the glass, dribble and throw it down. That’s what I wanted to do…I wanted to be like that.”
Webber on how former teammate Chris Mullin influenced his work ethic: “My first day of practice [with the Golden State Warriors], I reached out to Chris Mullin. I’ve never seen anyone that can shoot like [him]. I was in awe watching him and I asked him, ‘How do you stay in this league?’ I would watch him stretch, I would go to his house to see what he eats for breakfast. I was a fan [at first] but I knew that you follow the great ones. You follow someone who has done it before you and done it better. Chris Mullin was a wonderful example [to follow].”
Miller on his mentor and former teammate John Long: “He took me under his wing and we went over every scouting report before every game. We watched film [together]. He told me who I could and couldn’t talk to [on the court]…he taught me what the NBA was all about. To this day, every time I see him, I thank him. He was my mentor and he had such a big influence on me…he paved the way for me.”
Barry on educating players for their post-career: “As much as [players] have athletic goals and they try to accomplish those things, when [they] get to the NBA, what we lack is setting financial goals and going after those with the same passion [as athletic goals]. Once you’re able to make it, you need someone to educate you on [finances]…it is important so they understand that their athletic career is fleeting but financially I should be able to live comfortably for the rest of my life if I make the right decisions. Sometimes those [financial] goals are missed.”
Smith on how players should “keep it simple” when it comes to managing their assets: “A lot of guys are afraid to say ‘no’ to family or friends. Sometimes players don’t understand how to keep it simple. You can’t start restaurants and other businesses while you’re playing in the NBA. There are some guys that can but you have to know yourself. You can’t watch it so you have to keep it simple. Because of our egos, some guys are always trying to outdo [other players] off the court.”
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