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Work On Your Game Content/Podcast/#397: Why I Walked Away From Basketball, Cold Turkey
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#397: Why I Walked Away From Basketball, Cold Turkey

I knew it was time in 2014.

After going to the gym every single day from 2004 till then, I was starting to feel burned out. Not physical burn out because my body is still in great shape to this day – but mental burn out: I sometimes just didn’t feel like going to the gym and working on my game as hard anymore.

More to the point, I didn’t feel like working on my game, because I wasn’t as keen on continuing trying to play overseas anymore. The uncertainty that I knew existed in this career was weighing on me more than ever at this point. Plus, I knew I had many options in the entrepreneurship world that I could not explore if I was still staying at professional basketball shape as a full time job.

In 2014 I met a woman who share with me how I could not only get into professional speaking, but get into the world of being an expert on the subject. That was what I wanted. I could leverage that into writing more books, speaking, coaching, training, online courses, and anything else I wanted to do. I knew I had the material, I knew I had the skills, I knew I had the stage/microphone/in person presence to do it.

But professional basketball is a full-time job. Hell, even when you’re not signed to play professional basketball, staying prepared is a full-time job. Through all my years of the up and down career I had built, I had always been enthusiastic about maintaining that readiness. In 2014, I knew I was no the longer as excited about it.

There was a point where I took an entire week off from going to the gym in the morning – I would wake up, take a walk, do some yoga, and then begin my business work – stuff that I have been doing all along, but this was a test of doing it for time. After that week, when I didn’t self-destruct, I knew it was time to walk away from professional basketball.

But I needed to put in one more summer.

The $2 million Basketball Tournament was being held in my hometown of Philadelphia – perfect excuse to visit home, and play for $1 million at the same time. TBT would be my swan song from professional basketball. At least, if we want.

We didn’t win.

Two weeks later I played in a three on three tournament sponsored by Finish Line (the sneaker store in your local mall) and we won – $10,000. THAT was my last competitive game of basketball. That was my last game of ANY kind of basketball.

Today, learn why I walked away from basketball cold turkey like I did. Learn why I did it, how I did it, and what I replaced it with – The universe does not like vacuums.

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play | Overcast | Pocket Casts | Bluburry | Player.FM

Show notes, comments and links for all episodes can be found at

Direct mp3 download: [mp3 download link]

Learn more (much more!) about Dre – basketball career & Guides, Programs, Speaking – at his website

Find me on social media:

Instagram & Snapchat @DreBaldwin

Twitter & Periscope @DreAllDay

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