It was really just a matter of time til’ Russ Smith started writing a blog. A walking quote machine for the last four years, Smith is regarded as one of the most beloved Louisville players in the history of a program with a whole shit ton of beloved players. Now, taking a cue from his mentor and former coach, Rick Pitino, Russdiculous has taken to the internet in an attempt to spread the gospel of positive thinking and well-wishes. The aptly named website goes by the pseudonym A Russdiculous but Civil View. Because why wouldn’t it? It’s actually been around since April (what rock have we been living under?) but really just began to pick up steam in the last two weeks. Anyway, here are some encouraging words from one of his latest posts, titled The Road To Success Is Always Under Construction. Obviously, getting sent down to the D-League has been tough on Smith, but his prior trials and tribulations are helping him get through this tough situation and it’s pretty evident that he’s soaked up some of the Pitino wisdom over the years.
Before I go on to my college tenure, I never experienced recruiting stars in high school but I was respected by everyone who had them. I never got anything for free but I never wanted it. I went to a gym to workout only to be turned down because a top high school all star game was going on; unfortunately the big names didn’t come and they needed me (Who was in the stands in street clothes) to fill in and I achieved Co-MVP. I watched my AAU teammates get treated differently. I played 1st and 3rd quarters at camps and even missed some games because I could not embrace the embarrassment of coaches putting me in only because I paid my camp fee. I got up in the mornings at 7am to run the beach at Coney Island, then shot hoops at the projects there, then drove uptown to open my dads shop and worked out at a gym in the Bronx, then ran the 155st stairs in the Polo Grounds, then lifted with my weight trainer who is also a dear friend of mine; followed by velocity and finally having some late night basketball runs almost everyday in the summer. Some people just don’t know how hard it actually was.
Those who read this and feel what I feel should keep their heads up along with athletes in the middle of their athletic process. Kanye West said “People always tell you to be humble and not talk about yourself. When was the last time someone told you to be great?”. While this statement may seem overconfident and cocky in the most ways, there is some truth. I encourage those who read this to be better than what everyone thinks they can be, while be over confident but always being humble. There’s a balance we must all find in order to be successful and I just wish one day I find it. In the time being, my euphoric moments will only be the saudade I catch myself floating away in. I am just glad I have great parents, Coach P, my few friends, and a wonderful Pelicans organization to make me feel as if the greater moments I yearn for are a step or two away.
Whatever will make you happy you must achieve it but only under the realm of positivity and humility. There’s no shortcuts to happiness. Be great, keep your head up and appreciate your hard work. Only way you will be happy.
Keep your head up, young’n.