So often, professional sports figures turn out to be pirates. The metamorphosis of these raping, pillaging, money hoarders into romantic, independent-spirited, small business men is absurd. When one considers the possibilities for LeBron James-Chicago, New York, Miami-all I hear is "the LeBron James brand". "Spice must flow." "Show me the money." All the itinerant perks have been carefully explained to me. Yet, this has all the skanky underpinnings of a woman chosing a husband based on his bank account. I just want to know, WHAT KIND OF MAN IS LEBRON JAMES?
He's going to make buckets of money wherever he lands. The conflict between good and great is tangled up in the struggle between the pursuit of rings, and living a meaningful life that transcends ones on-court accomplishments. Is the measure of a man his quantity of championships? Is the value of a career based on the collection of high dollar sponsors? The difference between super stardom and a lasting legacy is what a man does outside of those 48 minutes when he is on the court.
LeBron James has an opportunity to rise above being just another burger-hawking, tennis shoe pimping, corporate shill. He can stay in Cleveland and be the hero of his community. His mere presence single-handedly changes the economic circumstances of many thousands of his neighbors. John Stockton, Buck Williams, Steve Nash and Dikembe Mutombo didn't need some gaudy piece of bling to be some of the most highly respected players in the game. Even the much-maligned Sam Bowie considers his most important role in life to be a steadfast and loving father to his children.
In these times of drive-thru divorce and talentless entertainment contrivances, there is much to be respected in the honor that it would take for LeBron James to step away from the glitz and glam of the big city and stay put. Integrity. Loyalty. Goods works. There are many lights that shine even when the arena is dark.
This mom wants to know. LEBRON JAMES, WHAT KIND OF MAN ARE YOU?
Note: that's how my wife plays it.