This Motivational Speech ‘The Rock’ Gave The Lakers Will Have You Running Through A Brick Wall
This past NBA season, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stopped by the UCLA Health Training Center to give a motivational speech to the Los Angeles Lakers as a part of the team’s “Genius Talks” series. (Yes, playing sports in Los Angeles does have its perks.)
This speech, which apparently propelled the Lakers to a rare win, was mentioned by Rolling Stone as part of Johnson’s cover story.
We’re on our way to the practice facility of the Los Angeles Lakers, where he’s due to give a “Genius Talk” – one in a series of TED-style lectures that the Lakers’ GM, Rob Pelinka, has organized to spark players’ curiosity for subjects outside basketball. Speakers so far have included Elon Musk and former Disney and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Today it’s Johnson’s turn.
“Thank you, boys, for having me,” Johnson says to the room. “I really didn’t know what to say to you today, because you guys are already successful. So instead, let me just tell you what’s worked for me, and maybe some of it might work for you.”
For the next 40 minutes, Johnson delivers a heartfelt, extemporaneous speech cataloging his lifetime of failures. How he was arrested multiple times as a teenager. How he failed to get drafted into the NFL, his dream crushed at 22. How he made it big in wrestling, but then quit to star in movies and struggled, and two years later wondered, “What the fuck did I do with my career?” He says he carries these failures close. “You gotta keep that shit in the front of your mind. When shit goes bad or sideways, when you get booed out of the building, it should form you. It should drive you.”
At one point, Johnson looks around the room at the hungry young faces looking back at him. “You guys are on the come-up,” he tells them. “You’re on the rise. But at some point, you gotta be fucking tired of not being number one. You gotta play angry. I’m cool and calm when I step on a set. But when it comes to business and when it comes to executing” – he raps his fist against the wall – “every day my back is up against this motherfucker. And when my back is against this motherfucker” — he raps again – “I don’t give a fuck who’s in front of me. I won’t stop.”
That night, the Lakers win by nine.
Now that speech (well, part one of it) has made its way online, appearing this week on The Rock’s YouTube channel.
Needless to say, anytime you need some motivation to get off your dead ass and go do something positive, this tremendously inspirational speech by The Rock should more than get the job done.