Down South Noise

DJ Stephens: I Wonder What 2018 Has In Store For Me

I’m sitting on a train headed to Paris, yesterday was our last game in 2017. We got the win and ended the year on a good note. The all star game and dunk contest are tomorrow, then I get a few days to just relax and not have to think about basketball for awhile. This season has been one of my most challenging up to this point, not just on the court but in my personal life as well. Having to to take a role playing less minutes than I’m use to, things on the court have been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride for me. I’m getting older and transitioning into a different space and it leaves me at odds with myself about a few things. I feel like I haven’t done enough in life, although I’ve accomplished so much, and I also feel like I’m ready to take bigger steps in life but I’m not quite sure how to get there. I’m sure the reason I feel like I haven’t accomplished enough is because I’m not where I want to be in my career. To compete and play basketball at the highest level has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and until I do that, I don’t think I’ll be at peace with what I’ve done in life. I spend a lot of time alone and it’s often just me and my thoughts. Good ones, bad ones, past ones, future ones, but always mostly about obtaining more things for myself and my kids and trying to advance in life for them. Holiday season is always hard on me cause I’m family oriented but continuously miss holidays with my family and friends because I’m away playing basketball, but for some reason this year it’s been harder for me. I understand I’m blessed to play this game I love, that’s brought me so many opportunities. And I’m grateful for how far I’ve come, but I get tired of the lonely days, the separation from everything, seeing the people I love through a screen, it’s tough, it’s hard, and I’m not going to try and sugarcoat it, I borderline hate it. And as people read this they’ll probably think I’m complaining or ungrateful, but until you live a life where you’re away from everything you know for 8 or 9 months at a time, you wouldn’t really understand. France is a beautiful country, and out of all the places I’ve been, it’s the most comfortable I’ve been since I started playing basketball overseas. But even still, it’s hard. The people closest to me ask me “shouldn’t you be use to it by now?” and you would think after five years I would be, but I’m not, it’s actually doing the complete opposite. Maybe it’s getting me to a point to where I’ll push harder and work harder than I ever have next summer to get into the NBA next season, I don’t know, I just know I miss my kids, my family, and playing basketball in the states. And basketball abroad is becoming tougher and tougher for me by the year.