This week’s guest is two guests: Kenny Anderson and Jill Campbell.

Kenny is the former No. 2 overall NBA draft pick.

Jill is the director of a documentary that just came out about him. It’s called Mr. Chibbs.

MR. CHIBBS (2017)

Take a look at our newly released trailer! Mr. Chibbs – Kenny Anderson premieres in New York City May 3.

Posted by Mr. Chibbs – Kenny Anderson on Thursday, March 16, 2017


Kenny was supposed to be Kobe, and though he had a perfectly solid 14-year career in the league, he was no Kobe.

Turns out, he was playing hungover half the time.

Basketball was his escape, because he’d stay in the gym all day and as late into the night as he could to avoid going home.

At home, he shared a bedroom with a mother who was addicted to drugs.

And that’s only the beginning.

We cover a lot, including

  • How a documentary filmmaker (and journalists, too) can connect with story subjects who have suffered trauma, and establish trust between them.
  • The intense fear that a lot of great athletes – and CEOs, and so on – have when it comes to therapy and getting mental health help overall. (“They’re like, ‘I can’t come out,'” Kenny says.)
  • The way Kenny used basketball to escape a brutal home, where he shared a bedroom with a mother addicted to drugs.
  • The way Kenny suffered much of his life under the weight of childhood trauma that included being molested by a neighbor and trusted coach.
  • And plenty more.

More show notes coming soon.

And I’m going to write more about this next week.

Meanwhile, go ahead and listen. It was a great conversation.


Subscribe to

Head in the Game

Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below

Hello everyone.

I’m thrilled to, at long last, give you Episode 001 of the Head in the Game Podcast.

I sat down with Steph Curry’s personal trainer Brandon Payne at his Accelerate Basketball facility just south of Charlotte.

Payne was one of my favorite interviews for Head in the Game when I was researching the book, mainly because he believes in approaching training in smarter ways — and he has a frank and authoritative take on it.

His story with Curry helps a lot with that, too.

The most famous version of his help is the viral video from 2015 showing Curry going through dribbling drills while wearing space-age looking goggles. They are flashing on and off, blacking out his vision while he trains.

But that’s just one piece to the whole puzzle.  (more…)

Hey everyone, welcome to the Head in the Game podcast, Episode Zero.

This one’s an intro episode laying out out the general idea behind the podcast and sharing some clips of audio from interviews I did for the book over the past few years.

The short of it: The world’s best athletes are learning to control their mind instead of letting their mind control them.

That sounds kind of like self-help crap.

It’s not. It’s grounded in science and built around stories.

I care about this and want to talk about this beyond the book because a lot of the ways they are doing this are things all of us can do — things that can really help us.

I tried virtually all of it.

Much of it, I still use.

It helped me see myself more clearly. Helped me understand myself better.

And — I think this might be the most important part — it’s helped me understand other people, too.

This podcast will be an ongoing experiment and I’m going to let it evolve as we go, but right now there is a rough plan: I’m shooting to air an interview every week or so with someone from this new world of “mental engineering,” or someone who can contribute to it. A couple are already in the can, and several more scheduled for recording over the next few weeks.

Not just because of the science — though the science is very kickass indeed — but because of the story that science is part of.

It’s a story about all of us. (more…)

Diving deep into the new frontier of “mental engineering” taking the world’s greatest athletes by storm — and exploring the brave new world it creates for the rest of us.

Book me for speaking and other appearances by contacting Danielle Kolodkin at the HarperCollins Speakers Bureau: danielle.kolodkin@harpercollins.com | 212-207-7100