‘A’ Game?

They called me last year, they said ‘ET we saw you, you did a couple of things, we need you to come to our main office in Detroit. Our top leaders – we’re going to have our top leaders, we want you to speak to our top leaders in downtown Detroit.’ I said ‘I’m there.’

I get there, I’m ready, you know I got my little shirt on, my shorts… my man pulled me to the side and said ‘Mr. Thomas can I speak with you please?’  I’m like ‘no problem. Let’s holler – what’s up?’ He’s like, ‘Well Mr. Thomas I need you to understand the depth of this engagement. I don’t know who you’ve work for before but this is next level.’ I was like ‘Alright, talk to me.’ He was like, ‘We’re bringing off our top leaders, so they’re not going to be on the phones which means we’re going to be potentially losing thousands of dollars in that hour while we’re working with you. You have to-when this is over-you have to produce.’ I’m like ‘Wow…’ So he said, ‘Mr. Thomas, I just need one thing from you.’ I said, ‘Yes sir?’ He said, ‘Your “A” game.’ I said ‘my what?’ He said, ‘Your “A” game.’

I said, ‘Oh I’m sorry, I understand. You come from privilege… so you got like maybe an “A,” a “B,” and a “C” game. Maybe your mom a country club I don’t know… your father owns a company I don’t know… But where you come from you got “A,” “B,” and “C” I get it.’ I said ‘Listen to me very closely. I don’t know if you read my bio but I told you my momma had me when she was seventeen, I didn’t meet my old dude until I was thirty – my father right now is sixty-six years old still trying to get his GED. I don’t know if you know who I am, but when I get on YouTube and I tell these kids they can do it – they watching me every Monday. I got schools in the D – they start their school on Monday morning watching me. They don’t have a daddy, their dad’s in jail; they don’t have a brother, their brother’s in jail, I’m all they got! You don’t understand – my son’s in Michigan State, and I pay for it in cash! My daughter wants to go to Harvard – you don’t get it! My sister just had a baby and she aint making no money! “A” game? All I got is an “A” game! I aint got a “B” game! I aint got a “C” game! When I finish, people are relying on me!’

Some of yall, when you get on the field, you forgot! You forgot what it was like when you was hustling in high school playing ball. When you were in college hustling to get to this point – and now you here, and you think you’re here because they got six or seven different kinds of meat for you over there. Yeah I saw yall, you got six different kinds of meats over there… G said ‘some of yall want this, he got to get that because some of yall want that.’ And I’m like, ‘Ooh you aint grinding no more…’

It aint that you aint got it – you remember the time when, and be honest with me, high school maybe, college – you remember when you was like one hundred percent? You was giving everything, every play, every down before they had a card with your name on it… before you had the jersey… you remember that? Before you got to this level you was on that level? You was all ways – and that’s what makes E.T., E.T.

I aint smart, it took me twelve years to get a four year degree. My book is a best seller and I failed English three times in college. But the difference between me and most people is – you might be sweeter than me, you might be bigger than me, you might grind, listen to me, I don’t know – you might have money, I don’t know where you come from but you will not out work me! Every single time! I’m not in here speaking like I’m getting paid twenty – listen to me, I’m in here like I’m getting thirty! This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m going to take advantage of it!

So yall got to do me a favor, from now on when you do what you do – I don’t care if you’re practicing, I don’t care if you’re playing yourself at a video game… you heard what I said. You put in one hundred and twenty percent every time or you don’t put in anything because-listen to me very closely-today this opportunity that you have, it might not be here next year, it might not be here the year after next, it might not be here the year after that. This is the only moment you’ve got, and you better take advantage of this particular moment.

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~Eric Thomas~

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