Who Are You?

“I was with a friend of mine in an airport and a stranger came up to me and said, You’re tall. Are you a basketball player? and I replied, No. Then another person came up to me and asked, Are you a basketball player? And I said, Nope. So my friend asked me, Bill, why do you keep telling them no? And I told him, Because basketball is what I do, but it’s not who I am.”

The quote above is from Bill Russell, perhaps the greatest basketball player in history.  An 11-time NBA champion, Olympic Gold medalist.  Two-time NCAA champion.  The evidence strongly suggests that Bill Russell was, in fact, a basketball player.  But I just love the wisdom of his view of his real self: “basketball is what I do, but it’s not who I am.”

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