- Posted July 12, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
"King James" Making a "Decision", Inspiring the World...
Before today, I was an everything "Scottie Pippen - Michael - Jordan" fan. Being a Chicago Bulls fan throughout the 80's, 90's, and into the new Millennium, back during those days when I had a respectable jump shot and could throw down a dunk or two, I patterned my game after everything Scottie Pippen. (Pippen does not get enough credit for the impact he had in delivering six championship rings to the Chicago Bulls organization, almost seven, were it not for a bogus foul call in Game 7 of the series against the New York Knicks during the first Jordan retirement stint, however I digress.) Later in life, when my son, Wes began to demonstrate some ball skills, his game and mannerisms quickly made me think of those that many believe to be the true "Air" apparent, Kobe Bryant, another favorite cager pf mine who reminded me more of MJ than anyone else. However, on this day, July 11th, 2014, my NEW favorite player for LIFE is a player I never really could get into, for a myriad of reasons, until today. That player is Lebron "King" James.
Today, while watching one of the only two shows that matter in my universe (CNN and ESPN), it was reported that the "Decision II", rendered with much less media-hype and fanfare than the previous "Decision" concluded with "The Chosen One" going home. Wow!! While all the "experts" surmised a plethora of reasons for why Lebron James would remain in Miami, like Muhammad Ali, Lebron "Shocked the World"..
Lebron is going home,, where it all began.. a "Decision" in my book that is far more important than the game itself. Despite his phenomenal wealth, his global superstar and celebrity status, as well as all the other adornments that accompany a professional athlete in his rare-air atmosphere, Lebron's decision says emphatically: "I Care About My Community, and I Remember Where I Came From. Now, it's MY SEASON to give back to the very community from which it all began!" Like I said,,,, Wow!!
Should Lebron be successful in winning an NBA title for the Cleveland Cavalier's in his second run with the team, such an accomplishment would be tremendously more meaningful than the championship itself. "King James", already in possession of, and with the success of four NBA MVP trophy's, two NBA Championship Rings, rings that arguably neither Chris Bosh nor Dwyane Wade would have won without the King "taking his talents to South Beach", is now returning home. Wade and Bosh will no doubt be fired up for the remainder of their respective careers, wanting to prove that they too can win an NBA Championship without their good friend Lebron. However, while the Cav's owner mistakenly stated when the original "Decision" was announced that Cleveland would win titles before Miami, I'm sure if he were to modify that boast today to slightly say something like: "The Cav's will win a title before Miami wins another title, now that the King has returned",, Vegas would take that bet.
As kids, we look at our professional athletes and dream. Kids dream that they are Kobe, or Michael, or Lebron. They dream that they are going to hit the winning jump shot, with zero ticks left on the clock. They dream that they're going to lead their High School to the State Championship. They dream that they're going to lead their favorite University to an NCAA Division I, II, or III championship, and then land the big professional sports contract and move "Momennem" to either that "Deluxe Apartment in the Sky", or "Load Up The Truck and Move to "Beverly". However, many of these kids who dare to dream big dreams, especially those that are raised in difficult or challenging communities such as Akron, Cleveland, Detroit, or any other city where the Information and Technology Age did not align well with the Industrial Revolution, these kids often have to watch their hero's from a distance. You see, urban flight is not only a white collar phenomenon, but a glitz and glamor professional sports and entertainment industry flight phenomenon as well. Imagine Kobe or Michael, Usher or Jigga, Diddy or Minaj living in Detroit,,, like Ricky used to say to Lucy,,, Iduntinkso!!
So, Lebron is going home. In a world where professional athletes often demonstrate on-court and off-court personalities that reflect words such as "spoiled", "selfish", "self-centered", "narcissistic", etc., "King James" made what will not only be lauded as an amazing basketball decision, but a decision that demonstrated one of the most important lessons that any individual can teach to our young people: that character and sense of purpose actually do matter, irrespective of how high up the mountain you may be blessed to climb. Lebron is returning to fulfill what he believes to be his purpose; to be an inspiration and an example to the kids of the Akron - Cleveland Ohio area. To be an example and an inspiration to the young men and women who may also dare to dream big, while calling Akron - Cleveland "home". The Decision II sends a resounding message to not only the young men and women from the Akron - Cleveland area, but also to those that aspire to do great things around the world, whether in professional sports, entertainment, business, or in life in general: That Yes You CAN become anything in this world that you ever imagined you could be, with hard work, dedication, and the pride and support of a community that believes in its own. Yes You CAN leave home to fulfill what you believe is to be your destiny, and once you've reached your mountain top, Yes You CAN come home again, apologizing to no one for believing in yourself. Yes You CAN dream big dreams and fulfill those dreams. Yes, You CAN come home again, even if your employer happened to be a jerk on the same day when you were a jerk, only to return to that same employer, recognizing that we all make mistakes, and that forgiveness is not only eternal, but devine. Yes, You CAN, Yes You CAN, Yes, You CAN!!. Again, "Wow"! (Could you imagine if Obama was from Cleveland? I know, Yes You Can!!)
Lebron, while I'm now twice your age and well past the days when Julius "Dr. J. Erving, Moses Malone, the Jones boys (Caldwell and Bobby), Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney were MY heroes, (Yep Philly, we still only got One.) without question, you have become my favorite NBA player of all time. You've become my favorite player of all time not just because of your skills, but because of your mind and your incredible sense of purpose, your unbelievable ability to demonstrate both humility and forgiveness without compromising your pride. This sense of purpose, along with the proud manner in which you carry Akron, Ohio, your upbringing and its environment, and your dedication to YOUR city is awe-inspiring. a "DECISION" that I hope many who are blessed to experience your rare-air of life find worth emulating.
In my book, forget "The Decision" of the past. You've now made a decision that will solidify your place among the elite sports icons of the world, for centuries.
All Hail the King!!!
R. Paige, A.K.A. "True Stories" is a Philadelphia, PA based Talk Radio Host, on WURD 900 AM, (Sunday Night - 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM - "Staying Resilient Talk Radio), as well as an Author and freelance writer. R Paige primarily focuses on Political, African American Culture, Entertainment, Music, and Sports interest stories.
In August, 2013, R. Paige published his BLOCKBUSTER relationship advice book; "Think Like A Woman, Act Like A Man", now available on iBooks, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and wherever eBooks are sold!!
(You may also follow R. Paige on Twitter, under the user name: TrueStories2