June 19, 2016 was a remarkable day in sports and American history. First, it marked the 151st Anniversary of Juneteenth, a celebration commemorating the announcement of the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery in America–liberating the African American class of people. Along that same vein, Akron, Ohio native Lebron James, most notably dubbed ‘King James’ liberated faithful Ohioans from a 50 year drought of any professional sports team winning a major championship. James won his his 3rd NBA Title, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers defy odds by overcoming a 3-1 deficit en route to defeating defending champions, Golden State Warriors.
James described his feelings in a post game interview as extremely rewarding and a childhood dream come true. He remarked, “I don’t know what it is about the hard road but we take the hard road and I’m at peace knowing the man above always will see me through.”
Oftentimes we overlook that magnitude in which sports figures influence our life. 6 years ago when Lebron announced his decision to “take his talents to south beach,” Ohioans were outraged. Some displayed this anger by burning his jersey and sharing outlandish videos and photos showing their disgust with his decision. James clearly had a plan for his home state and was able to win 2 Championships with Miami; thus, elevating his talent and knowledge of the game, only to return to Cleveland and in his second year since the return take them to the promise land and walk away with the prize possession of a championship trophy in hand!
In doing so Lebron demonstrated a few lessons that tie into the next significance of June 19, 2016, which was also Father’s Day. Father’s play a huge role in the lives of children, but what does it mean to be a father and what subtle teachings are passed down to younger generations by great men? I argue with last nights performance James exhibited a few key elements that many father’s also display and share with their loved ones, those being:
- The power of the mind/belief in yourself and what you can accomplish when you set your mind on it
- How will come sometimes supersede skill, more importantly how skill and will ultimately benefit one another
- The humility in humbling yourself along the way to silencing your critics
- The drive and energy you get from performing that which you are most passionate about
As the 2015-2016 NBA season comes to a close, it is rightfully fitting that we all take a moment to ponder the synanamous nature of sports, life and the constant pursuit of greatness!
Happy Juneteenth, Happy Father’s Day and more importantly congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lebron James and the entire state of Ohio!