We Need to Talk: Pride
“I'm the type to swallow my blood before I swallow my pride...” – Curtis James Jackson III
With the recent decision by Kevin Durant, and the conversations that ensued afterwards, I realized how many people have no sense of pride and we need to talk about that for a minute.
For starters, this isn’t an article about basketball. I’m not a fan of what KD going to the Warriors does for the league competitively, but he’s a grown man and can do what he wants. This is an article about a disturbing trend of prideless people nowadays.
Don’t get it twisted, pride isn’t about being arrogant or being unable to admit when you’re wrong. Pride is about respecting yourself and having some sense of dignity. Pride is that little thing inside of you that makes you great. Pride is that thing that tells you “We’d rather fail a hundred times and keep trying, than let another man just hand us success.”
Stringer Bell was trying to reform the whole Barksdale organization and legitimize it through his real estate deals and grant work, but that wasn’t who they were. Stringer tried to keep the heat off them by avoiding confrontations over territory and trying to just make up for it through higher-level distribution, but that wasn’t who they were. Avon had too much pride to just sit around and let Marlo, take over the city and keep the Barksdales off corners. The money was straight, and they didn’t need the corners, but Avon had too much pride to let somebody tell him how to run his life, and that was respectable. Avon could’ve just chilled in his high-rise apartment and been good for the rest of his life, but he wasn’t going to trade in his self-respect for sake of comfort, he wasn’t going to let somebody make him look like a punk bitch.
I say that to say this, it’s not always about the end result, it’s about how you get there. In the aftermath of the Durant decision, I had a lot of people telling me that all that mattered was that he was going to be winning championships and that winning cures all, but I don’t see it like that. He went from the king of his kingdom (and you could make an argument that it wasn’t his but he was the MVP and he was the accepted better player), to joining a team that had the greatest regular season in NBA history and was 1 finals win away from winning a back to back championship, a team that features the first unanimous MVP and reigning back to back MVP. I’m not judging him by what other athletes would do in his situation; I’m not even judging him by what I would do in his situation because I can’t in good faith tell you what I would do. I just feel like in my life, and what I do, I wouldn’t do something like this.
When it comes to the fields in which I consider myself competitive, I would much rather achieve success of my own ability, than have it handed to me. There is joy in that adversity, that’s where character is developed. One day, I’d love to make it to a bestsellers list as an author, but I wouldn’t sell out to do it. I wouldn’t let somebody ghostwrite my story for me, or just add me on as a co-author to get credit for achieving it. It wouldn’t mean a damn thing at that point; it’d just feel cheap and dirty. My PRIDE wouldn’t let me do something like that. You have to have pride in life, otherwise you’ve got nothing.