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Rodney Stuckey explains how therapy made him less confrontational and more positive

Rodney Stuckey already disclosed that he had been seeing a therapist, but in an excellent follow-up, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press uncovered more details:

Stuckey credits part of his newfound success to the metro Detroit therapist he started seeing a few times per week after last season.

"It’s always good to hear something positive or just to hear anything from someone that’s not with you in your circle," Stuckey said. "You always have your best friends, your mom, whoever, to turn to, but they are probably going to say what you want to hear.

"You can have someone to be real with you who’s not really judging you, it’s looking at you different."

Stuckey was the youngest of four brothers growing up in the Seattle area, and he readily admits he didn’t learn proper conflict resolution skills. Although he has been reluctant to rehash the past, it’s a safe bet his upbringing contributed to his rocky relationship with Kuester, who was fired after last season.

"My mom always taught us that if someone talks smack to you or steps up to you, you have to protect yourself," Stuckey said. "That’s just how I carried myself, like if someone would raise their voice at me, I would always have to respond because that’s the way I know how to do it. That’s just the way I was raised.

"It teaches you how to handle things differently. It does not always have to be anger. It can always be something positive. If someone yells at you, just try to handle it in a different way."

I really, really like this Rodney Stuckey.

First of all, kudos to Stuckey for being so open about his therapy. In sports culture, that’s not always accepted, and it shows some courage by Stuckey to put this out there.

Second, it’s great to see Stuckey’s new mindset. He seems more comfortable on the court and happier in general. That’s great for him and great for the Pistons.

It’s also apparent he’s becoming a better teammate. Ellis:

He is planning a trip to Sweden with teammate Jonas Jerebko.

Stuckey already planned to work out with Brandon Knight and Austin Daye this summer, and now he’s going to spend time with Jonas Jerebko? I love it.

Before last season, Stuckey declared himself a leader. If he did that last year, I didn’t see it. But this season, he appears to be really making this his team.

16 Comments

  • Apr 16, 20125:38 pm
    by D_S_V

    Reply

    Stuckey has basically made me put my foot in my mouth this season – I wasn’t completely off the bandwagon, but I thought a change was needed for both parties. Anyways, I think now is a good time to “shut him down” for the season a la Bargnani ( http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7811280/toronto-raptors-andrea-bargnani-done-season-due-calf ). Let him rest up and come back next season with hopefully a top 5 pick. Right now is prime time for tanking, so let’s tank it up. Tank Tank. Tank Tank. Wins are meaningless. Tank Tank.

    • Apr 16, 20126:22 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      He’s made a lot of us do that. I was all for resigning him, and actually wanted more years on the contract, but just as an “in case he figures it out.” But last trade deadline, I really wanted him to be moved because I expected that was when his trade value had reached its all-time peak. Good to see the man actually massively outperforming his contract. Dumars has gotta love that “his guy” is panning out after all.

    • Apr 16, 20126:28 pm
      by D_S_V

      Reply

      Also it looks like Cleveland is mailing in the rest of its games as well! Irving and Varaejo both likely done for season according to Marc Stein’s latest Power Rankings ( http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings/_/year/2012/week/16 ). Detroit is being out-tanked by Toronto, Cleveland, Golden State, and now with K. Love’s concussion, possibly Minnesota too. But of course any time you can get wins – even if its at the end of another playoff-less season – you have to do it.

      • Apr 16, 20129:35 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Toronto does not appear to be tanking. They have actually played pretty well of late by their modest standards. They could easily outlose Detroit, but that’s because they are a bad team not because they are throwing in the towel. Ditto New Jersey, but I recognize the Nets were not among the teams you listed.

        • Apr 17, 201210:06 am
          by D_S_V

          Reply

          Yea I can’t say I catch every Raptors game so I don’t know if Bargnani is actually hurt… same with the Nets who gave Deron the game off against Miami and we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out. I’d just love to see Detroit move ahead a few spots here at end of the season. It’s a shame our 4-20 start couldn’t give us better position at the end of the season.

          • Apr 17, 20125:09 pm
            by tarsier

            Yeah, it is hard for outsiders to say whether a guy is really injured. In both cases, I would guess that they could be playing, and would be if the wins were needed. But since the wins aren’t the teams are erring on the side of caution and letting the players heal more fully. But I am guessing that if they had fully recovered, they’d be playing now. Maybe I am too optimistic about the teams’ sportsmanship though.

  • Apr 16, 20128:08 pm
    by Tiko

    Reply

    I still think we should trade him this summer when his value will arguably be the highest in his career.

    • Apr 16, 20128:27 pm
      by D_S_V

      Reply

      Sell high… a great strategy, but consensus from the Republic of Dumars is that Stuckey is “his guy” so I’d be incredibly surprised if that happened.

    • Apr 16, 20129:42 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I would be on board with such a plan only if  Dumars got very good value for Stuckey. Normally, I would like the notion of selling high, but it seems that Stuckey has developed excellent chemistry and rapport with the other core Pistons. So he is only worth trading in a deal that is a clear win for Detroit. If its iffy, I’d hang on to Stuckey.

  • Apr 16, 201210:54 pm
    by 2Tough

    Reply

    I wonder if Stuckey will up his visits to the therapist to 7 days a week after that collapse last night. Hopefully that failure didn’t shatter his fragile ego, but it probably did.

  • Apr 17, 201212:32 pm
    by Jacob

    Reply

    This is awesome. Stuckey has the physical gifts, has always been able to get to the hoop, and has improved his outside jump shot this season. All that is just basketball though. Going to therapy seems to have helped Stuckey the person which has translated into better intangibles on the court. His attitude, commitment, and leadership have all turned up several notches this season. Regardless of his success on the court, this is great to hear.

  • Apr 17, 20121:53 pm
    by Todd

    Reply

    This is one of the things that I believe more players need to consider. Whether it is a therapist, life coach, spiritual mentor, or whatever, having that person that is outside your posse and the team that actually can help bring clarity and doesn’t simply rubber stamp everything you say should be mandatory for professional athletes (frankly for most anyone).

    I am glad to see that not only has Rodney taken such steps, but he has spoken openly about the process and its positive developments in his personal and professional life.

    Here’s to more players taking these positive steps!

    • Apr 17, 20125:16 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “should be mandatory for professional athletes (frankly for most anyone).”

      I have to strongly disagree. I’m sure such a thing can be helpful for some people. I am sure it would be useless to some others. And I am sure it would be detrimental to still others. What the splits there are, I have no idea. But I would be pissed if somehow it became mandatory for me to spend my money to talk to a therapist or some such. It’s not something I want or need. It’s not something I believe I would find beneficial, although I could be wrong on that count. And I definitely have more important ways to spend my money.

      • Apr 18, 201211:45 am
        by Todd

        Reply

        Ok, so I admit that my intention was simply to raise the issue of the value of such an individual/group in a person’s life. I will note that your characterization seems to focus more on your own situation rather than on the intended focus, e.g. athletes. Most individuals in our present society, particularly those that have some superior level of income/fame, view life through a me-shaped prism that distorts the true reality of the world around them. They further exacerbate the problem by surrounding themselves with individuals who merely agree with everything they say, rather than providing an alternative perspective. Stuckey’s example shows that with the added insight and questioning of others, we can begin to re-analyze our lens for viewing others and the world at large. Isn’t that something that we all could benefit from?

  • Apr 17, 20121:56 pm
    by John

    Reply

    Great to see/hear that Stuckey is growing as a person, and hopefully as a player. I stil lcant understand why someone with his obvious talents has 30 pt nights followed by 6 pt nights, but I’m hoping he can turn over a new leaf and once the team rids itself of some bad seeds -I’m looking at you CV31 (and hopefully BG, somehow some way)-then this team can begin to make genuine progress. I only fear that they are still playing too well (amazing to say) that they won’t secure a quality top 5 pick in the draft and therefore be stuck with somebody who is a gamble and not someone who is a difference maker. We shall see.
     
    BTW, why can JJ get consistent minutes anymore? I’m not sure Frank entirely knows what he is doign yet. Better than Kuester, sure, but still too many inconsistencies with minutes and guys not knowing their role with regularity IMO.

    • Apr 17, 20125:18 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Most players averaging between 10 and 20 ppg will have such ups and downs. An occasional 30 point night followed by a 6 point outing is well within the normal, acceptable, and expected fluctuations.

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