“Life Coach” gives up on JaMarcus Russell

Oakland Raiders quarterbacks Bruce Gradkowski (L) and JaMarcus Russell are shown sitting on the bench against the New York Jets during their NFL football game in Oakland, California October 25, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

You know things are bad when your life coach gives up on you. My life coach still won’t return my calls and to this day, getting to sleep at night doesn’t come without a great degree of difficulty.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole, JaMarcus Russell’s “life coach” John Lucas has cut ties with the biggest bust in NFL history. Lucas was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1976 NBA draft and is renowned for helping athletes with addiction and personal problems. But apparently even he has thrown his hands up when it comes to Russell.

Russell, 25, and Lucas had been working together since September in hopes of getting Russell into shape for a return to the NFL. The aforementioned sources say Russell, released by the Oakland Raiders last May, initially worked hard, but quickly lost motivation. Recently Lucas tired of trying to get Russell, the top pick in 2007, to respond to instruction and assistance.

In addition to Lucas, TNT analyst and former NBA star Charles Barkley tried to motivate Russell, according to one of the sources. Both Barkley and Russell are from Alabama, prompting the Hall of Famer to take an interest in Russell.

“The title of your article should be, ‘It’s Over,’ ” the same source said. “It’s just amazing that you could say that about somebody who is 25 years old and just got drafted four years ago. But it’s been almost a year since he got cut and there’s no interest. Even before the lockout, nobody wanted to get near the kid.”

It’s funny, if this kid couldn’t throw the ball 70 yards nobody would give a damn about his career. It’s admirable that John Lucas devotes his time to helping athletes but as we all come to realize in life, some people just aren’t worth the trouble. I’m not trying to be cruel here. I just think that if people aren’t willing to help themselves and then they spit on the efforts of others who are trying to help them then why bother?

Did anybody stop to think whether or not Russell really wanted a life in the NFL? Just because he was blessed with a rocket launcher for an arm doesn’t mean he wanted to be a football player. We all shake our head and call him a waste of talent but it’s pretty clear that whatever is in guys like Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, clearly isn’t in Russell. He just doesn’t want it, so let him go drink cough syrup or whatever he else he does in his free time and move on.

If Russell had a serious problem and was a danger to himself or others, I would be singing a different tune. But as far as I can tell, he’s just another lazy person who doesn’t want to work for anything. Sadly, he’s not the only one who is like this and he won’t be the last.

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