Following Wednesday's announcement that Damon Stoudamire will be the new head men's basketball coach at University of the Pacific, the former Blazer penned a post on The Player's Tribune, entitled "A Letter to My Younger Self," outlining some of the lessons he's learned through his college and NBA career, and paying tribute to his late grandmother.
Tell her that today, when you're writing this letter, you're going to get your first NCAA head coaching job. You're going to get the opportunity to lead kids, and show them what Lute showed you. You'll get to look them in the eye and tell them the truth.
Tell them that life isn't a movie. Tell them that they're going mess up. Tell them that being a grown man isn't something that happens to you, it's something you work for every day.
You're the head coach of University of the Pacific.
That's some news that will really make her proud.
The Portland native writes to his 12-year-old self and touches on some of the accomplishments of his basketball career, then writes about the impact former Arizona head coach Lute Olson had on him, and the experience of being drafted by his childhood hero, Isiah Thomas.
Follow this man to Arizona. Don't do it because of basketball. Lute is a great coach, but it's not about that. Do it because he's going to care about you as a human being. A lot of NCAA coaches want to use you for Ws. Lute wants to turn you into well-rounded human being.
Then your hero is going to walk up to you and shake your hand. Isiah. He's in the front office for the Raptors. He picked you. The dude you're trying to be right now, at 12 years old, every single day by yourself at the park, is going to pick you.
As part of some of the most successful teams in Portland history and an era that ended with the infamous "Jail Blazers," Blazer fans may understandably have mixed emotions regarding Stoudamire. This letter addresses what was likely his low point in Portland - when he was caught trying to sneak marijuana in his carry-on, which would turn into what he says was a turning point in his career.
Damon, you know how you was raised. You was raised to act right.
The airport incident is going to be the turning point. One reporter in particular is really going to come after you for it. You'll make a promise to him that it was just a dumb mistake, and that you're done with marijuana.
Ultimately, Stoudamire's tone is mature and up front as he enters a new phase of his career. His letter is a great read from top to bottom. Read all of what he had to say, here.