For years the motto of the San Antonio Spurs has been to “pound the rock.” It’s a reminder to be relentless and never give up. If you’re going to break a big boulder, you don’t do it with one hit, you keep at it and hit it until it crumbles. It’s a great philosophy, especially for a sports team. Nothing ever comes easy, you have to work at it and stay focused.
New Toronto Raptors head coach Dwayne Casey believes in the same philosophy as Coach Popovich. He’s put a 1,300-pound boulder outside the team’s dressing room to keep them focused on their new mentality, they’re going to be “pounding the rock” just like the Spurs.
“I knew we were going to be a work in progress,” Casey said. “Every time we walked on the floor we were going to have to have something to get us to think about … how we have to get better, we’ve got to work to get better.”
Coach Casey has his work cut out for him, inheriting a team that went 22-60 last year, but he’s got to start somewhere. He’s already calling it a “building” year for the Raptors, and if you’re going to build, you might as well use some rocks.
The “pound the rock” philosophy was also made famous by Jon Gruden’s Super Bowl winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. For a new coach, if you’re going to pick a mantra to inspire your team, might as well go with a winning one. The Raptors have an uphill battle this year, it will be interesting to see if they really can keep at it.