Me and my realtor, we’re like, okay, we’re going to show her two houses, but the second house is going to be hers. For the first house, I was like, make it the ugliest house ever so she won’t want it. [laughs] So we showed her this house, and she was like, I don’t like this house. And then we pulled up to her house and she was like, “Hm, I like the way this house looks.” When she walks in, there’s a picture of my single-wide trailer up there. And it’s got that quote under it: “Never forget where you come from, but never lose sight of where you’re going.” So when she seen the picture, that’s when she knew it was her house. It was shocking to her. And then she slowly started to melt. It hit home. I thought I was going to be the first person to cry. My manager was actually the first person to cry because he was my AAU coach when I was younger. So he seen me go through what I went through since I was 12.
My mom didn’t see me cry. I had to go outside and take my little 30-second cry break, and come back in the house. I couldn’t have it on TV.
Has it been an adjustment to now being able to buy things you need and things you want?
It has because I still have that frugal mindset. I don’t ever want it to leave.
Did I read you bought an automatic t-shirt roller, though?
[laughs] Yeah. That was probably the only thing that I really wanted, but I didn’t need. It’s helpful to me. It’s actually an essential. After I get done drying my clothes, I’ll fold shorts and my other stuff. But sometimes, when you look at a pile of t-shirts, you just be like, I’ll do it tomorrow. So I got me a t-shirt folder. At that point, I was like, alright, let me work smarter, not harder.
Did this new contract add pressure or take it off?
I wouldn’t say pressure. Pressure is like a homeless man trying to find his next meal. That’s pressure. This is accountability. I don’t feel that as pressure. You gotta be held accountable for the rewards you get. What’s the saying? More is given, more is expected.
Speaking of pressure, is it true that you listen to recordings of thunderstorms to calm yourself down?
Yeah. I started doing it in the bubble.
What does that practice look like?
It’s kind of like meditation. Turn all the lights off and just sit in the dark and turn on YouTube and go to thunderstorms. You envision yourself playing the game without playing the game again, if that makes sense.
So it’s like a visualization process?
Yeah. When a lot of boxers have matches, they envision the move they’re gonna hit the dude with for a knockout. Then you get in that moment and it’s like, alright, this is the move. Or you’re just in that locked in mindset to where you’re like, alright, I’m taking over.
When I was younger, cause I lived in a single-wide trailer, my house was thin. If somebody was yelling outside, you could hear it. It felt like they was right next to your window. I had tin around my house, so when the rain would hit it, you could hear it. It was one of those like soothing sounds to me. It’s calming. Cause when you have a big game, like you’re in the Eastern Conference Finals, or in the playoffs period, you gotta be locked in and focused. Every game matters, every moment matters, every possession matters. So you gotta make sure you’re sharp in the mind.