Taking the “Pound the Rock” mantra to the nth degree, new Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey had a massive boulder placed inside his team’s locker room, in the hopes of inspiring the players with the visual. From the AP: A 1,300-pound boulder sits just inside the front door to the Toronto Raptors’ dressing room, a reminder of the mentality the new coach Dwane Casey is trying to instill in his team. Heading into what Casey is calling a ‘building’ season, Casey has introduced a new motto: Pound the Rock. ‘I knew we were going to be a work in progress,’ Casey said of a team that went 22-60 last season and finished last in the Atlantic Division. ‘Every time we walked on the floor we were going to have to have something to get us to think about — how we have to get better, we’ve got to work to get better. It’s from a story about a stonecutter. Every time a stonecutter hits a rock, it may not break. You may have to hit it 100 times, but on that 101st time you hit it, now you crack the rock.’ The motto is written on the walls of the team’s practice gym and in the locker room. The boulder, purchased at a quarry in Thornhill, Ontario, just north of Toronto, is there to remind the players every time they walk on the court. They are supposed to touch it as they pass by and will leave every huddle with a call to ‘Pound the Rock!’ The meaning of the phrase goes back to Jacob Riis, a social reformer who wrote about the plight of the poor in New York in the late 1800s and early 1900s.”

(H/T: BDL)