Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's Nets blog: Offseason, Drake vs. Pusha T, figure skating
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson checks in to discuss Jalen Rose, Drake/Pusha T and figure skating
This is Rondae checking in with my first-ever blog on BrooklynNets.com. I’ll be doing this throughout the summer so be on the lookout. And if you got any feedback, hit up your boy on Twitter: @IAmCHAP24
Let’s get this started. The offseason has been good for the most part. It’s been good to refresh and spend time with my family and friends. Honestly, being able to stay close to those who I’m closest with and play the game I love are the two most important things to me. If there’s one thing that irked me, it’s comments made by a person last Tuesday that I won’t give any shine to. As I’ve said already, he’ll need to check in before he visits Brooklyn.
He doesn’t know what’s going on in our locker room, in our text messages and how we are as a team. I felt like it was a shot and a slap to the face, because of the perception of how nice we are. I feel like people look past what we have here sometimes. Yes, our record is what it is, but we have a brotherhood in our locker room and we have a group of young guys who are grinding every day to prove against that perception and improve as a team. We improved by eight games last season and that’s got to be the minimum expectation heading into next season. That was what the California trip was all about.
Everyone who went on that trip, volunteered to be a part of it. There weren’t any ultimatums and we definitely didn’t hold anyone hostage once they came. I was impressed that even guys who are free agents showed up. It shows the comfort level that we have with each other, it’s like they were like “I want to be here.” Anytime you get a group of guys that commit to something bigger than themselves, that says a lot about their character. About who they are and focusing on a better future, not only for themselves, but for us as a team. I think it was big, it was a step forward in the right direction for us.
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.....”. Team Bonding in LA with my Teammates @brooklynnets... #TeamCarroll #BrooklynGrit #blessedbeyondmeasure #GrindDaily pic.twitter.com/Bv4sU0kRyw— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) May 9, 2018
Personally, it also inspired me to think about my own goals and expectations. I’m entering my fourth year and I want to be great. I want to be one of the greatest players to ever play the game. I think that’ll take some time, but I think I’m making the right strides – mentally. Once you figure out and know you have the talent, I think the next step is mentally sacrificing. Whether that’s your diet, your sleep or telling your friends ‘no we can’t hang out.’ Ultimately, to become this great player, you have to make those sacrifices and changes that the ones who aren’t great wouldn’t do. I think I showed some of that last season by improving offensively and I want to build on that heading into next season.
Funny enough, those comments weren’t the only diss that came out last Tuesday. There was also Pusha T lighting up Drake with one of the craziest tracks I have ever heard. Yo it’s crazy! Pusha is literally coming for Drake’s neck out here.
I’m actually a big fan of Drake’s, so I’m interested to see where he goes from here. He can rap, but he’s also great at making music that anyone can jam to. Pusha is a straight-up poet and he apparently knows his stuff…ha ha. Drake’s issue is that he knows his limits and where he feels comfortable. It’s not his identity to battle rap, but you never know. He always seems to surprise people and he needs to respond. Sooner than later.
"I’m entering my fourth year and I want to be great. I want to be one of the greatest players to ever play the game."
Getting back to the offseason, although I have been enjoying some downtime, I’ve definitely been paying close to attention to the playoffs.
I was able to catch up with my good friends, Alex and Maia Shibutani, for Game 1 of the Finals. Now you might be wondering how I’m cool with two Winter Olympic figure skaters. Simple, we’re all ambassadors for Right to Play. I joined my rookie year in 2015 and that’s where I met them. I remember I was chilling with personal friends on my own when they came up to me and introduced themselves. Moments later, Alex came up to me and was like “Dude, you’ve should’ve been a higher draft pick!” That’s when we started to laugh and joke and exchanged numbers. Ever since, we’ve been pretty close.
Alex and Maia are big fans of the NBA. Alex used to tell me how Maia would beat him all of the time in 2K by exclusively using Shaq. It’s cool to hear their perspective on ball and I’ve also quizzed them on figure skating. I’m not a huge figure skating fan, but I watch whenever they are on. I’ll be like “Bro, you got an ice blade on your leg, that doesn’t hurt?” LOL. So here’s where this gets even better, they have offered to teach me how to figure skate. I mean I skate a little bit, but imagine me at 6-foot-8 trying that out? Of course I accepted. You may see some videos come this winter.
Alright everyone, appreciated having a chance to share some thoughts here. Next time, I’ll reveal why my grandfather was dominating street courts in his late 50s and how he and my brother Rahlir led me on my path to the NBA.
As told to Alex Labidou on May 31