Box & One With Kareem Rush

By Wesley Chism Jr.
Updated: December 20, 2007

SEATTLE – People often think that it’s easy playing in the NBA and once you’re there you’ve got it made but nothing could be further from the truth. If you don’t believe me just ask Indiana Pacers Guard, Kareem Rush, he can tell you a few things about it.

“Getting to the NBA is a dream for many young players and I was one of the lucky ones that made it. What I didn’t realize was that getting here was the easy part, staying here is another story all together,” stated Kareem.

Last season, Kareem played for the Lietuvos Rytas of Vilnius of Lithuania and was very grateful for the opportunity. “I was received extremely well and I took that opportunity to focus on my craft every day and every night.”

“It wasn’t like I took things for granted while being with the Lakers, Bobcats or my brief stint with the Sonics but what I realized while in Lithuania, a million miles from home, was that playing in the NBA is a business and needs to be treated in that manner to be successful during your playing years and after you hang up the sneakers.”

Kareem understood that he needed to make some changes in his life if he wanted to play up to his potential and the first change that he made started with is diet first. “I’m 27 years old now and I can’t keep eating that fast food stuff because it’s no good for my body and after all, you are what you eat. I feel great now and I’m not out of breath all the time anymore.”

“I’ve got a trainer and work on my cardio like a marathon runner and do a lot of strengthening exercises that focuses on my core. There are no off seasons for me every again, I’m working hard to get into the starting line up but most importantly become a better player and teammate every day.”

There’s always a lot to learn when your coming into a new system but Kareem feels fortunate playing for the Indiana Pacers, “because the offensive schemes that our team runs it compliments my game perfectly and when we push the ball hard up the court it creates scoring opportunities for the open man,” stated Kareem.

“I like are chances this season and everything is up for grabs. Jermaine is getting back into the rhythm of things and we are healing nicely as a team and will be able to make some noise before it’s all said and done.”

Kareem told me that the best advice he ever got was “to love what you do” and he truly loves playing basketball. “I guess that it took me a few minutes to realize that there are a lot of guys out there that are hungry and want my job but I am prepared to do what it takes and what is asked of my to keep my position.”

“It’s a great opportunity to play professional basketball in the NBA; better yet it is a privilege. I have learned to make the most of this experience every day and I’m very thankful for a second chance to prove that I belong.