I’m fragile. I feel pain. I hurt. I open my eyes. I create. I conquer. I hold the power.
I’m a thinker. I create victory. I do not give up. I feel no fear. I fear no man.
I’m an athlete, a warrior, an artist.
Some of ya’ll been worshiped since you was in high school, so you don’t really know how to grind. Like you talk grind – like I love it, like I go into the weight room and ya’ll playing like Pac. Ya’ll playing Biggie, like ya’ll all in it. Like, you like Pac but you don’t have the spirit of Pac. You like love Pac, you like listening to Pac, you like listening to Biggie, you like to talk about the grind. But you don’t really know what the grind’s like.
I know what the grind is like. I started from the bottom. What is your bottom when you’ve been worshiped since middle school? You’ve been tall your whole life, big your whole life… They worshiped you so much now that you think its about you. You don’t even know what the grind look like.
I’m from Detroit. Homeless. Mama got pregnant with me at seventeen years old. High school drop out. Took me twelve years to get a four year degree. I am coming now! Its in view!
You finally made it to the big leagues, and now you wanna chill? Now you got the big head? Now you can’t grind?
You here now. You here now! You finally made it!
And this is where you break up? This is where you start chilling? This is where you get comfortable?
You made it now! You made it now! You in the big leagues now! They watching you now!
This is where you make it permanent!
Yeah I saw – I saw, “perfect, perfect,” nope. Practice don’t make perfect. Practice makes permanence! This is permanent ya’ll! This is permanent. You can go wherever you wanna go from here.
It does not take talent – you don’t have to be talented. Right? You don’t have to be gifted, you don’t have to be the quickest, the strongest. You don’t have to be the most intelligent to get to where I am. This is what you gotta do: You just got to grind though. Your grind – you got to out grind!
So many of you may of heard me say this, your father, listen to me, might own a company, your momma might be a millionaire, you might come from privilege, your daddy might hook you up with a car, he might know people, he might be able to get you a job, but you will not out work me.
And what you have to decide in your position, in the NCAA, you have to make a decision, that nobody in this league, in your position, will out work you.
Listen to me, you have got to grow up and get to the point as a man that if you ever get beat, you better get beat by somebody that’s just purely more talented than you are. You better not ever get beat by somebody because you beat yourself.
You have to take advantage of an opportunity of a life time in the life time of the opportunity.
Let me tell you something, you sitting in this room, you think you going to be eighteen for the rest of your life, you think you’re going to be nineteen for the rest of your life, you got an opportunity right now that you won’t have five years from now. You have an opportunity right now that you will never have!
People say, “Why you grind so hard E?” I might not be the number one motivational speaker in the world five years from now. I gotta get everything I can get right now! Every book I can wright, every – listen to me! My school is being paid for by the athletic department – I am hot right now!
Right here. You may never get another one. Some of you, after this, there may not be another opportunity. And let me tell you what I tell athletes; the worst thing in the world is not growing up in poverty. The worst thing in the world is growing up in poverty and coming here, and getting worshiped, and not taking advantage of this, and you got to go back to the hood! That’s the worst thing that could ever happen to a brother.
You better not lose this! This is the opportunity of a lifetime! Your grandma counting on you to do the right thing. Your momma counting on you, your cousins, your brothers and sisters are counting on you to cash in on this opportunity.
Everybody wanna be a beast. Everybody wanna be a BEAST! … Until its time to do what beasts do.
Until its time to do what beasts do…
Everybody wanna be a beast! Everybody got a lio– tattoos of lions! Lions all on they twitter page– everybody got the lion thing now, they tweeting now, “Rawr!”
But when its time to practice you aint on beast mode! Let me tell you something as I’m getting out of here; can I be real with ya’ll? Most of ya’ll think that a lion is who he is because of how ferocious he is when he catch that gazelle or when he catch that zebra. Can I be real with ya’ll? A part of being a beast just aint eating a gazelle. A part of being a beast is to hunt.
Its the hunt that they excited about! They like to see the gazelles run, then boom! They take off! Cause real lions like to hunt! They love the process – the process – just as much as they love the prize.
And some of ya’ll just want to score! You don’t like the process! You not in love with the process!
A real man in the dark when nobody’s watching, he putting in work.
A real man in the dark when nobody’s watching, he putting in work…
A real man, when coach aint even watching, he’s studying film on his own. Because he loves the process…
If you will be a champion, if you will be a beast, you gonna have to go through something.
Aint nobody gonna hand you nothing. Aint nobody gonna hand you no championship. Aint nobody gonna hand you no title.
So this is my year – I end – this is my year. Listen to me, say, “Be Phenomenal,” this is it, I want you to chant it out, this is it, “Be Phenomenal Or Be Forgotten.” One, two, three: