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12 Lessons From a Living Legend

After 35 seasons, Stu Lantz is being honored by the Lakers on Stu Lantz Night. From playing the game professionally to covering the game masterfully, the Southern California Sports Broadcasters’ Hall of Famer has grasped the meaning of being grateful, and the steps necessary to become a noble man.

Stu has always been a man of principle. After all, he is the man that Chick Hearn called upon. Some might consider that one of the ultimate testimonies to a person.

“We did a summer league game and he said if ever there’s the opportunity, I’d like to work with you,” Lantz explained, “and I thought that’s just Chick being Chick — just such a nice guy. I thought he was just saying that to be a nice guy.”

But when a position became available, Stu got the call. “He was definitely true to his word,” Stu said. And some might say, Chick knew Stu was a man true to his word as well.

Stu Lantz and Chick Herns

Lantz Lesson 1: Take Pride in Everything you do

How do you inspire people?

“I didn’t know I did,” Stu chuckled. “I think the inspiration comes from the way you approach your job; if you’re reliable, if you’re not always looking for a way out. Hard work is an old adage, but it does always really pay off. If you work hard at your craft, no matter what it may be — I think that kind of inspires others to do the same.”

Lantz Lesson 2: Keep Marching

What’s the most important thing when facing adversity?

“Hit it head on. I have a saying that fear of failure leads to no success. Just keep moving forward, face that adversity, you’ll conquer it.”

Lantz Lesson 3: Sharpen the Sword

Is there a secret to success?

“Hard work. You don’t just wake up one day and have success, you must put in the effort.”

Lantz Lesson 4: Move on

Is there ever a time that you can’t find the words? And what do you do?

“Search for another word.”

Lantz Lesson 5: Hold onto the Good Things

What’s one thing that’s important to do every day?

“I think the one thing that’s important to do every day is to count your blessings, because as bad a day as you may be having, always remember there’s somebody that’s having a worse day than you. Count your blessings because it could be worse.”

Lantz Lesson 6: Greatness Lies Behind Humility

What’s the biggest thing you have in common with the Lakers organization?

“Longevity maybe? They’ve been around a long time, and I’ve been around a long time. Did you say the pursuit of greatness? That’s a damn good answer. I would take that as my answer, but that’s not fair to take somebody else’s. Next time I’m asked that question, I’ll think of that though.”

Stu Lantz

Lantz Lesson 7: Dwell in Gratitude

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned along this career path?

“Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t take your position for granted. Don’t take tomorrow for granted. Same thing for life though, tomorrow’s not promised to us, this job isn’t promised to me.”

Lantz Lesson 8: Life’s Right Now

It’s been 35 years of covering Laker Greatness, how do you stay present in every moment?

“That’s not real difficult for me because I try not to live in the past. I want to learn from the past, but I don’t want to live in the past. I try to live in the present and look forward to the future.”

Lantz Lesson 9: Get Better Everyday

What does it take to reach an expert level in your profession, or in general?

“Been there done that is a good start. But if you keep your mind open, you never stop learning. I’ve been doing this for a long time but every day I learn something from somebody else.”

Lantz Lesson 10: There’s Power in Honesty

What do you think the most important quality in a person is?

“Probably their honesty. I’m big on the honesty part. I want to know that I can trust you. I want to know that what you’re telling me is truly how you feel.”

Lantz Lesson 11: No Matter What, Matters

What does it mean to be a good friend?

“To be there when I need you,” he laughed.

“To know that no matter the scenario, I’m only a phone call away — you can trust me.”

Lantz Lesson 12: You’re Successful When You Decide to be

How do you know when you’ve made it?

“Well, the definition of “made it” is going to be relative to who’s defining it, I guess. Um, wow. I think when people try imitating you, I think that’s an indication.”

Stu Lantz

He first sat in that seat — that seat next to Chick in 1987. And now still, Stu Lantz sits in that seat, now next to Bill Macdonald, as the Color Commentator on Spectrum SportsNet for the Los Angeles Lakers.

He’s called the games played by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. And now he calls the games played by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

He’s given the NBA a rare perspective into the game of basketball with a style that’s both opinionated but fair and transcends over three decades.

But Stu also gives people a rare perspective on the path to success — any story can be a success story if you’re willing to learn the lessons.