If you don’t look closely, you’ll miss the handmade sign nailed to a telephone pole outside the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo, California.
It’s located just outside the entrance to the players’ parking lot, but many players overlook the blue and yellow letters when they drive in.
“I see greatness in you,” it says.
This symbol does not indicate who “I” is, who “you” are, or what greatness you possess. But in a small but meaningful way, the message has inspired his coach Durbingham of the Lakers to lead the team in his Western conference semifinal series against the Golden State Warriors.
Hamm forms an unlikely friendship with the man who put up the sign.Terence Barney is an airline employee who loves basketball and has a house filled with inspirational signs. has attracted notable athletes and entertainers.
“It’s not just a slogan he’s trying to get corporate sponsors and others to pick up,” Hamm said. “That’s what he actually believes in. I love it.”
Neither rich nor famous, Barney, 40, works for Delta Air Lines and lives in Los Angeles with his German Shepherd Ziva and girlfriend Crystal Lewis.
He stands outside the Crypto.com arena in downtown Los Angeles, holding a handmade sign with his message at most Lakers home games.
“When I tell people, ‘I see greatness in you,’ it means ‘I see God in you,'” Barney said. “So this is what God told me to do, right?”
Barney first hung a similar sign 15 years ago on a street corner in Highland Park, Michigan, a small city surrounded by his hometown of Detroit. He said prayer made him do it.
Since then, he has flown free as an airline employee and taken his autographs all over the world. He shouted it as a contestant on “The Price Is Right.”
“He’s like Forrest Gump 2.0,” said former NBA player Morris Peterson. Befriended Bernie after Peterson’s charity event Together with rapper Snoop Dogg, we are helping those affected by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. he is everywhere You may see him in Paris with an autograph. “
Bernie played basketball A Year at Prairie View A&M UniversityIn 2007, he prepared for training with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, then the G League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. when he was playing, he spotted Rasheed Wallace, then playing for the Pistons, sitting at the bar at TGI Friday’s. .
“Excuse me sir, your turnaround jump shot is the best turnaround jump shot in the history of turnaround jump shots,” Barney recalled telling Wallace. “How do you beat someone taller than you?”
Wallace got up from his seat and demonstrated his method. The two had a few beers together and a friendship began.
Lakers coaches Wallace and Hamm became close friends over the years through NBA circles. Earlier this season, Wallace was scheduled to visit Hamm’s house.
The Lakers started the season 2-10. Hamm struggled to get the most out of his two best players on the team, LeBron as he James and Anthony Davis. Not many people use “greatness” to describe what’s going on with the Lakers. But Bernie did.
“He said: ‘Don’t worry, coach. You’re going to be great. We’re going to be great. I see greatness in you,'” Hamm said.
Hamm trusted his reading about Barney, so they kept in touch. Bernie sent Hamm a text his message to inspire him. The Lakers’ fortunes began to change, but this probably had more to do with a dramatic makeover at trade deadline than Bernie’s signing.
Prior to Game 4 of the Lakers first-round playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Bernie texted Hamm: I see greatness in you!!”
The Lakers were 6 points ahead of the Grizzlies that day.
“Everyone wants to be thought of in a positive light, and you need good vibes, good energy, and people who believe in you, not just in basketball or NBA basketball, but in life in general.” I represent.”
The sign outside the Lakers’ practice facility has been around for weeks. Davis said he first saw it on May 1, right before the Lakers left Los Angeles for the series against Golden State in San Francisco.
Little did he think about it, assuming it was something a fan had left there.
The next day, Davis had 30 points with 23 rebounds, joining four other big men in Lakers history to have at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in a playoff game. His performance helped the Lakers defeat the Warriors in Game 1 of the series.
“Wow, did he see the autograph before he scored the record win??” Bernie said in a text message.
He couldn’t be sure it was a coincidence.