From Being Unwanted to a Potential Massive Pay Raise

What can we learn from these basketball players about self-improvement?

Oliver Romsen
4 min readJun 23


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I’m happy for the Denver Nuggets.

As a basketball fan, I can’t help but be happy for the fanbase that has never been to the championship or won it all before. They drafted and developed three of their top players, stuck to them even when they suffered injuries and were rewarded with a championship.

But another part of me, the one who’s a fan of personal development, can’t help but feel overjoyed for the other team, the Miami Heat, notably their slew of undrafted players.

From being unwanted to being productive

Undrafted means a player might not get a guaranteed contract compared to those picked in the first round. They also earn less money.

Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, and Gabe Vincent had question marks entering the draft. They were either too skinny, slow, not athletic enough, or an unreliable shooter and therefore went undrafted. They had to spend one to two years playing in the developmental league in the NBA.

What’s remarkable was how they responded during this year’s playoff run. These guys stepped up, alternating playing big game after big game, helping the Miami Heat knock off two highly favored teams.

They have become productive players for a team competing for a championship. And they’re looking at a significant pay raise when they become free agents (Duncan Robinson already signed a 5-year, $90 million contract, the largest for an undrafted player in history).

How did they go from being undrafted to productive?

The key to mastery

First, let’s go back to 1986.

It was the year when the coach of the L.A. Lakers developed the CBE or career-best effort. They computed a baseline number for player statistics to identify a player’s baseline performance. The key was asking the players to improve their output by 1% throughout the season. It would be a career-best effort if they could do that.



Oliver Romsen

Family man. Fitness nut. ESL. Pro content marketer. Hire me if you like my writing!