LeBron moving his kingdom?

Well, it’s over…the hype, the questions, the drama…four weeks of waiting for “The Decision” to be made by The Chosen One.  And up until yesterday, I was pretty sure Lebron would stay here in Akron…I was hoping he would, anyway.  And judging by the reaction of so many people around here, his decision to play for Miami is not a popular one in Northeast Ohio! Some folks sound downright bitter about it, some are claiming that it’s no big deal because he’s just another spoiled athlete who has achieved hero status but who hasn’t contributed anything worthwhile to his hometown.   I disagree.  No, I STRONGLY disagree.

Lebron James has brought more to Cleveland and NE Ohio than any sports figure in recent history.  He brought a LOT of money to the businesses in Cleveland; he brought a sense of pride and excitement and yes, HOPE, for at least one sports team here; and he’s given a lot of money to a lot of people and organizations.  He’s also been influential in inspiring inner city kids to get fit, read, do their schoolwork, and to strive for better things.  This area will surely feel the impact of his departure very quickly. 

He has become a hero to many youngsters for good reason: he has been an outspoken and loyal advocate for Akron; he ALWAYS has put  kids first when throngs of autograph and picture seekers surround him; and he’s been the epitome of what a best friend, and son, should be to those closest to him. However, Lebron has also always advocated pursuing your dreams, doing your very best to achieve your goals, respecting your god-given talents and using them as they should be used.  He has somehow managed to do all of this by the time he turned 25…good god! If those are not heroic qualities, I don’t know what they are. 

Do I wish he would stay?  Most definitely!  But that’s for purely selfish reasons…just like everyone else who has come to know, respect, and care for this young man, I like sort of “claiming” him as “one of us”.  It’s fun to feel like we are a part of something special, something extraordinary.  With all due respect for Drew Carey and Jim Brown, Lebron James has become synonymous with Cleveland, and in an “A-list” kind of way.  He is a genuine talent who could change the game of basketball…and in so doing, change the course of history…and that is very exiting.  But of course, I don’t really have a claim on him just because he’s from my hometown and I like the pride I feel when I boast about him to pals in other cities, right?  No, he’s paid his dues, he’s done his part for this city and the one to the north, and now he needs to step out of this NE Ohio shadow and do what he needs to do to grow; he needs to do what he has to do for himself.  And right now that means he has to step out into the Miami sunshine, learn from other great players, learn from his new coach and the genius of Pat Riley, and take the step up to the next level.  Because you can only give as much as you’ve got…and Lebron has given a lot…if you try to do more than that, you burn yourself out and you are no good to yourself or anyone else, no matter how hard you try. 

So far, Lebron has managed to avoid the ever-enticing pitfalls of many in the NBA…he still seems fairly grounded, doesn’t appear to be chasing skirts or doing drugs, and has made his decision based on finding a team he can work with to win the Championship ring he seeks. So, although I agree with many that the WAY he made his announcement was pretty narcissistic, over the top, and just a little bit silly, still, I like the guy and I hope he finds what he’s looking for.

I wonder if he’ll still shop at Target in Miami?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “LeBron moving his kingdom?

  1. Janet Daily

    Thanks for grounding me. I was so sad when I watched the show on ESPN last evening. I just could not believe he was actually going to Miami! I have been concerned about him, because I felt he was way off his game during the playoffs. Never before had I seen him lose the ball while dribbling the way he did then. The kids at St.V.-M will miss him terribly. And so will I.

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  2. Joe Anderson

    I dont blame the guy for going, who wouldnt take an opportunity at more money? I just think he was a self-absorbed jerk for the way he handled it. Do the due diligence, weigh the options, and then tell the teams your decision without all the fanfare. It’s a business, handle it as such. The media was going to give him more attention than he could possibly need. I think his “brand” will suffer a little bit for this but by next season he will be in a bigger market and brighter spotlight so he will be back on top. But in the basketball history books he will never come close to Jordan or Kobe or Bird or Magic etc. Even if he wins 3 or 4 titles, it wont be “on his shoulders” alone so it wont mean as much.

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  3. carol Bailey Floyd

    Thank you so much — I wish you would write a letter to the editor. Your words are a stark contrast to those people burning his jersey and besmirching his name. His history started here, so many memories, and it hurts me to think that now when he comes “home” some people will act like hyenas and make him feel uncomfortable in the area that he helped put on the map and brought a lot of economic benefit to! This is his hometown and I hope that he will be able to walk tall and proud here and be treated with respect and gratitude. Why does he “owe” us? We run the danger of creating an environment where he won’t want to keep up with his local charities! Lots of people are commenting on his big narcissistic fanfare when he revealed his choice, but few are mentioning that all the proceeds from the commercials are going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Akron, Cleveland, etc. — the longer the show, the more commercials! LeBron is 25 and one of the savviest people around! I am deeply saddened by the loss of his shining star here — but he is still a shining star! This is one grandmother who is still in the club!

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  4. Christine

    Well said Julie!
    He is doing what’s best for his career, family and himself. Anyone in his shoes would do the same. He has brought a lot to this community and will continue to do so. I wish him all the best!

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