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James Donaldson’s Book Review – Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed by Judy Pasternak

Yellow DirtThis book, Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed, gives a fascinating account of the US government’s involvement in poisoning the land and the people who lived upon that land (Navajo Indian tribes), throughout the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and into the 70’s.

Because of the very inexpensive and cheap labor that could be provided by the Navajo Indian tribes, and the fact that uranium was discovered on the Indian reservations, the government exploited these poor people to such extent, that for decades, they lived unbeknownst to themselves of the fact that the land, water, air were all poisoned from the uranium and uranium byproducts. The long-term effects where the fact that cancer rates and tumors shot up off the charts, and many birth defects occurred to produce children with crooked fingers, that soon fused into clawlike appendages that were totally useless.

All of this in pursuit of the almighty dollar, and the fact that the US government was involved with the Manhattan project and also the Cold War.

There was a big need for these minerals to produce the nuclear armaments that America used to arm itself.

This is another sad chapter in US history, that many of us do not know about, and of course the US government is loath to talk about. Thanks, finally to Congressman and lawyers, the US government was finally forced to admit its wrongs, and to pay reparations to the Navajo people.

Initially, when finally forced to face the facts, the US government stated that the “mess” was “too expensive” to clean up, and better left alone.

Not a lot of people really understand the extent of the exploitation the US government inflicted upon the Native American tribes from the very beginning of this country, but this one, “takes the cake”. The Navajo tribes are still dealing with the latter generations of children born with birth defects, and so many of the older people, succumbing to cancers and tumors at an early age.

If you like this kind of explorative journalism, this would be a great book for you.


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James Donaldson’s Video Interview with JoyCan – September 2, 2016


It was a real joy for me to be interviewed by a couple of University of Washington students for a broadcast that will be shown in the China market. The interview was specifically tailored for Chinese students who are interested in business, entrepreneurial endeavors and study abroad opportunities in the United States.

We talked about my basketball career, my business career, community involvement around Seattle and some of the latest things that I am doing in China.

Special thanks to Shujing Lyu (a.k.a., by her English name, Jean) who did a wonderful job interviewing me, and special thanks also to my good friend, who put together the JoyCan network, Jack Ding.

Thanks everyone, I really enjoyed my time with you, and all the best to all of the students that we reach in their various endeavors!

Standing Above The Crowd Postcard

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James Donaldson Interview Podcast with LamarMatic’s NBA Blog Host, Reinis Lacis…. Enjoy!

The Handle Podcast – James Donaldson: 08/20/16


By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)

James Donaldson describes his journey from joining his high school basketball team only as a junior to becoming an NBA All-Star. We also discussed the late 1980s Dallas Mavericks, the Winnebago Wall of James, Jack Sikma and Lonnie Shelton, and why the Clippers were the NBA’s wasteland.

Topics discussed in the podcast: (click link to listen to podcast)  https://lamarmatic.com/2016/08/20/the-handle-podcast-james-donaldson-082016/ 

01:35 – James being born in the United Kingdom, not playing sports until coach Chuck Calhoun started working with him during his junior year, senior year being the first of organized basketball;

08:15 – George Raveling and other coaches starting to notice James, basketball phenom Bill Cartwright helping his cause by attending high school a mere 15 miles away;

11:15 – James working on his physique with track and field coach Rick Sloan during his first two years at Washington State, getting his opportunity as a junior when Norton Barnhill, Ron Davis and Steve Puidokas had started their pro careers;

15:10 – Coach Raveling’s relationship with Lenny Wilkens helping James to get drafted by the Sonics in the 1979 NBA draft, their roster already being full, going to Italy to play more and improve;

17:40 – James’s experience in Italy, a contractual problem he had with the Siena club,Ron Behagen joining the team soon after to take James’s spot on the team;

20:30 – The Winnebago Wall of James Donaldson, Jack Sikma and Lonnie Shelton:

Veterans like John Johnson and Fred Brown taking James under his wing, working with him on his game;

24:50 – James wishing to stay with Seattle his whole career before an unexpected trade for Tom Chambers landed him with the Los Angeles Clippers, Jim Lynam having to convince him to move forward and back up (and often play in the place of) Bill Walton;

31:35 – What was wrong with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1980s, it being a dumping ground for misfits and players past their primes, management being impossible to negotiate with, Norm Nixon being an example of how players had a sour attitude when joining the Clippers;

35:20 – The trade to the Dallas Mavericks where James had the apex of his career, Dick Motta being the perfect coach for him, a no-nonsense coach who treated everyone the same before owner Don Carter started to interfere;

38:40 – Roy Tarpley‘s abilities and versatile skillset;

39:30 – James replacing the injured Steve Johnson for the 1988 All-Star game, his mindset of not deserving the selection, coaches and management re-assuring him that he was picked by David Stern for a reason;

45:00 – The Los Angeles Lakers – Dallas Mavericks 1988 Western Conference finals, Dallas’s big front court giving them a chance to battle with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a poor fourth quarter in Game 7 preventing them from playing in the finals;

46:50 – The team feeling that they would return and be back deep in the playoffs next year, things unraveling, Mark Aguirre acting up and demanding a trade, Roy Tarpley not being able to stay out of trouble, John MacLeod, a very nice guy, being taken advantage of;

52:00 – James averaging 15.2 points and 15.6 rebounds per game in his last twelve games, playing his best basketball ever before a ruptured patellar tendon, Clifford Ray‘s coaching allowing him to improve;

54:00 – James going through physical therapy and realizing that it is something  he wants to do after his career, opening a clinic and working with people;

58:20 – Wanting to make a difference, working with the National Basketball Retired Players Association to help former players develop skills after their career, providing them with programs to be great at something else, the post -career struggles of players like Joe Pace (the blog entry written by James about Joe Pace).

The media related to the podcast:

James’s block on James Worthy to force a Game 7 in 1988’s Western finals:

Notable snippets of the interview:

Subscribe on iTunes, on Stitcher, on the podcast’s RSS feed, on YouTube or follow me on Twitter to keep up with the podcast.

Thanks to James for coming on the podcast and being so engaged and insightful about his career!

Standing Above The Crowd Postcard

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James Donaldson’s Small Business Entrepreneurial Tips: The Main Factors of a Successful Venture

Business photo (2)Greetings everyone!

I wanted to start your week off with some more tips about being a successful entrepreneur. I find that “keeping things simple”, is almost always the best approach and everything we do in life. So many times we “overcomplicate” things, and we end up with a jumbled mess of “too much information” that we can’t do anything with, or just bogs us down with the time-consuming although that information, adding into our procrastination of getting up and going.

One the things I love about our online marketing business click here, is the fact that there is a whole team of professionals, behind the scenes, who are there to help us with every aspect of the business. There are coaches for us to work with as often as we want to, there are tremendous business resources for us to market and to earn tremendous commissions from, there is even a team to follow up with all of our potential prospects, so we don’t even have to do our own follow-up and contact people.

I’ve always believed in the T.E.A.M. concept, which is an acronym for “together everyone achieves more”.

So here are some tips for today I wanted to share with you, and in the next couple of days, I am coming to you again via video, the share even more tips.


The starting up of a business brings upon some significant changes in the business owner’s life:

  • the permanent financial freedom,
  • flexibility of schedule,
  • satisfaction of making one’s life fulfilled- irrespective of making the business grow into a mammoth structure or just keep doing what you like to do and earn your living.

Beside the excitement of new ventures arrive the challenge of wearing too many hats- strategic planning, marketing, sales, production, customer support, accounting and financing. Even if the business is small the tasks are huge.

Whatever might be the field, the main factors of a successful venture remains the same-

  • a good idea,
  • an effective marketing plan that is not hugely expensive,
  • efficient operation.


A proper business idea is crucial for the success of the venture. Firstly you must be passionate about the area of work. Secondly you must posses enough knowledge, talent and experience to stick on. Finally, choose a business that’ll yield small and steady income without heavy investment. This will eventually support you and your family. Some ideas that can be considered are- freelance writing, online marketing, web design, book keeping etc.


Basic tool of marketing your product and services would be distributing business cards. You can design the card yourself by using different business card templates but it would be wiser to spend some money and let a professional do it. As little as 20$ will get you 500 cards.

Color cards are a bit more expensive. Next step is to build a website which will allow the prospects to view the information 24 hrs 365 days. Around 50$ is the cost for web holding per year. Another 80$ more would get you two simple web pages. If the internet prospects look good, then spend $50 on pay-per-click (PPC) online ads. $50 on PPC will bring you more customers and also generate revenue.

Operation efficiency

Running the business (marketing, sale, production etc) takes away all the time for small business owners. They don’t have time (or knowledge) on strategizing the expansion of the business. The result is that they either remain a small venture or get wiped out if there’s a drastic change in the market.

Operation efficiency is even more required in smaller ventures than in established farms.

Some methods of improving operation efficiency-

  • streamline business process,
  • utilize productivity software,
  • outsourcing and etc.

Business photoSome thing like- hiring an accountant for tax returns and bookkeeping, a collection agency for debt collection etc should be done. Always spend time in expanding your business.
Just wanted to remind you also that I’m adding more and more people to my email list everyday, and so, at some point you will see some redundancy as I get the new people caught up to where we are now.

I still want to strongly encourage you to click here and submit your name and email address so that you can get underway with the 21 step program that will really help you greatly on your way to financial freedom and be in your own business owner.

There’s still plenty of time for all of that, but just remember, that each day delayed, is a day that you could have been making progress toward your ultimate goals. 

Have a wonderful day, as I plan to do as well!

To your good fortunes!
James Donaldson
Former NBA All Star and Small Business Entrepreneur


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James Donaldson’s Book Review – The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo

The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die

I thought this was a fantastic book to read, and it really gets you thinking, especially as your “life’s journey” continues on decade after decade, of what’s most important, and the author, John Izzo, described so well, The Five Secrets he says we must Discover before we die.

Izzo interviewed over 200 people, most of them well along in years, to discuss and discover with them, some of the secrets that they have lived by to have such a rewarding life.

In a nutshell, here are the secrets:

1 – Be True to Yourself

2 – Leave No Regrets

3 – Become Love

4 – Live the Moment

5 – Give More Than You Take

All of these “secrets”, are so poignant, so commonsensical and, almost cause you to have a “no duh” moment, because I think all of us, especially if we are in our 50s and 60s and 70s, realize, that these secrets are indeed the secret to live in a long, rewarding and rich life.

Think about it, how important it is to “Be True to Ourselves”, and, how important it is for us to mend relationships with friends and family and “leave no regrets”, and, the value of loving instead of hating and “becoming love”, and, as the years continue to go on, realizing that there’s nothing we can do about yesterday, and tomorrow is promised to no one, and so we learn to “live the moment” and enjoy and cherish each and every day. And then of course the last secret, in which we learn to “give more than you take”, especially after our early years and early careers are all about personal gain and self-centeredness, we learned in the long run, none of those things amount to anything, and it’s much more rewarding to give than to continue taking.

I myself had a life-changing, serious health scare about a year and a half ago, where I hovered between “life-and-death”, and was in the hospital for two months. All five of these secrets resonated with me so clearly during that time, that I had a whole “new lease on life” when I got out of the hospital, and all of a sudden, life took on a whole new meaning. I think I’ve always been one to enjoy life and to make sure it was filled with quality time, friends and relationships, but everything went up to “the next level” after that close call. I think since then, I’ve been sure to myself, I’ve cleaned up a lot of old relationships and feel I have nothing to be regretful for (for the most part), I’ve become much more loving towards myself and others, I’ve learned to live the moment and cherish each and every day, and I’ve also become much more giving realizing that “I can’t take it with me” anyway.

If you’re into introspective thinking, this would be a wonderful book for you.

I think it will have tremendous meaning to folks who are at the third and fourth quarters of their lives, then for a young teenybopper, simply because with age comes wisdom and experience, and he realized the relevancy and the importance of these five secrets.

Enjoy this fantastic book! I highly recommend it!


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James Donaldson’s Brand New Ebook – Basketball A-Z: What It Takes To Make It From AAU to the Pros – A Free Gift Compliments of James Donaldson

talljames_2_finalI hope that everyone is having great weekend and all is well.

Remember last week when I mentioned to you that it was my birthday? That’s always a great time of anyone’s year to receive a few gifts, cake and ice cream, and in this day and age of social media…. Birthday wishes from all around the world. And of course, all of those things happened to me as well!

But you know what? … every time I receive some nice things, it always puts me into the mind set of giving back.

So, I just happened to finish up my new ebook, “Basketball A-Z: What It Takes to Make it from AAU to the Pros”, and I’d like to make it available to each and every one of you (over the next 10 days) … just because!

The best way to receive your own Basketball A-Z ebook download link, is to click here and submit your name and email address.  I’ll be notified right away and will personally send you an email with the download link information. And yes, it’ll be personally from me to you! How does that all sound to you?

I don’t normally write much about basketball, but I thought that I’d put this ebook together for all of the young basketball players and basketball coaches out there. So, even if you’re not a big basketball fan, I’m sure that you have people in your lives who are. Daughter or son, husband or wife, family member or friends!

The ebook has a lot of information in it about basketball drills and preparation that will defiantly help anyone to be better and better at basketball. From youth basketball, high school, college and all the way to the Pros, you’ll find it here!

It also has some great insight that I share as to how and why I got started in basketball, and how, once I started to dedicate myself to this great game, how it all started coming together for me, and I was actually able to make a career out of it.

I know that you’ll enjoy it!

What do you have to lose!!! It doesn’t cost you a thing (except a name and email submission). Which will also give you a free ”look see” at the great business entrepreneurial opportunities that I’ve been involved in for a while and have been sharing with you for a few weeks now. As I mentioned, once you get started, I’ll be right here for you as well, coaching, mentoring, sharing and encouraging you every step of the way.


My birthday was a nice little time for me to receive and get birthday greetings from all around the world, but now it’s “your time”!

Take care and have a wonderful weekend! Looking forward to working closely with you soon.

I still want to strongly encourage you to click here and submit your name and email address so that you can get underway with the 21 step program that will really help you greatly on your way to financial freedom and be in your own business owner.
There’s still plenty of time for all of that, but just remember, that each day delayed, is a day that you could have been making progress toward your ultimate goals.
Have a wonderful day, as I plan to do as well!
To your good fortunes!
James Donaldson
Former NBA All Star and Small Business Entrepreneur


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James Donaldson’s Brand New Ebook – Basketball A-Z: What It Takes To Make It From AAU to the Pros by James Donaldson

Italljames_2_final wanted to take a moment, to announce the release of my brand-new e-book that I just completed, titled, Basketball A – Z: What It Takes to Make It from AAU to the Pros.

I know that I typically do not write about basketball and sports, but I wanted to collect a lot of my thoughts about what it takes, especially for young people, to compete at the highest levels at school, in the AAU competitions around the country, on their way to high schools and universities, and then hopefully, in pursuit of their ultimate goal, to the WNBA and or the NBA.

There are so many details to pay attention to, that a lot of our young people fall by the wayside because they forget to pay attention to them.

I think this would be an excellent book for not only basketball players, but all young athletes, and the coaches who coach them.

At this moment, I am offering a free download of the book from my website, www.StandingAboveTheCrowd.com and all you have to do is go to the product catalog section of the site, and you will see an image for the ebook, Basketball A – Z. Click on the image, and I believe the website will ask you for your name and email address (where I will safe keep for you, and not distributed out to any other email marketing list…. although I may contact you from time to time with a periodic newsletter), and then submit a coupon code which will be “BasketballA-Z” (without the quotation marks). From that you can proceed on through the shopping cart, and there will not be any charge whatsoever to download the book. You will receive a confirmation email, with the downloadable link in the email.

I know that you enjoy this book, and be sure to remember to pass it on to young people in your life, and also for all of you coaches out there, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful advice in it as well.

Of course, you’ll find a couple of other books that I’ve written as well in my shopping cart, my actual physical book titled “Standing Above The Crowd: Executing Your Game Plan to Be the Very Best You Can Be” (of which I will personally autographed for you when you purchase), and another relatively new e-book, “The 50 Greatest NBA Players: My Personal Experience of Playing against Most of Them” (which I believe will be a very good interesting read for everyone as well).


Take care, and to your success!

James Donaldson
Former NBA All-Star