The country is abuzz because LeBron James has chosen to leave the Miami Heat and return to his home state of Ohio to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, again. Amidst all of the excitement and chatter there are some life lessons to be learned from the life of LeBron.
Lesson 1: Everyone Doesn’t Like Decisions You Make
Lebron had the right not to resign with Cleveland back in 2010. After deciding to take his talents to South Beach, the Cavs fans went ballistic. Not only did the fans of Cleveland go off, but the Cavs Majority Owner, Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter about Lebron’s decision. He called Lebron’s actions, “cowardly”. And to make matters worse, Dan Gilbert’s sports-memorabilia company Fathead, lowered the price of wall graphics depicting James from $99.99 to $17.41, the birth year of Benedict Arnold.1 All of this teaches us that even when you make decisions that you feel are good for you, someone is going to be offended.
Lesson 2: Some People Want You To Do What’s Best For Them
Some Cavs fans said James had no integrity, some even burned LeBron’s jerseys in a public display of James free will decision. The hate for LeBron grew to a point that he became a “villain”. This teaches me that people will be upset when you don’t do what they think you should do.
Lesson 3: Money Is Not Always The Most Important Factor
LeBron took a pay cut of millions of dollars in order to win a championship. For the next three years, though James was clearly the best player in the NBA he chose to lose money in order to accomplish a personal goal. What a lesson. Money is important, but there are some things that are more valuable than a paycheck.
Lesson 4: Everyone Needs Help To Succeed
LeBron was highly criticized for joining DeWayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to form, “The Big Three”. But with the Heat winning two NBA Championships in three years is an easy lesson to learn, no matter how great you are, everyone needs help to be successful.
Lesson 5: There Is Power In Unity
Wade, Bosh, and James planned and agreed to come together for a common goal, to win. These three men agreed to take a pay cut in order to reach their goal. They endured the grind of the 82 game NBA season. They overcome the opposition of the fans and media. The rose above the hate on social media to finally obtain their goal, the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. By the way, they did it twice! That’s a powerful lesson learned, there is power in unity.
Lesson 6: It’s Possible To Move Forward With Forgiveness
On July 11, 2014 Lebron decided not to resign with the Miami Heat and to sign with the Cavaliers. Despite the disagreements from Lebron and the Cavs management, both parties have reported they have forgiven each other and are ready to move forward. It’s almost like the prodigal son returning home…and instead of getting the fatted calf, a ring, and a robe, Lebron will be greeted with a 2 year 42 million dollar contract. In order to find fulfillment, forgiveness is mandatory.
Lesson 7: You Can’t Please Everybody
If LeBron stays in Miami, the Cavs fans can only wonder what would have been. If James returns to Ohio, he disappoints the Heat Nation. Too bad Lebron’s not from Atlanta. Oh well, you can’t please everybody, lesson learned.
© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”.