Return Of The King

Those who know me personally understand my passion for the NBA’s captivating narrative and how they use social media and content to add depth and continuity to that story.  Among those plots, both major and minor, is that of the plight of LeBron James, one which has fascinated me for years.  Last night, that plot line reached it’s conclusion when the superstar won his first NBA Title.  LeBron’s success, however, was not without a dramatic struggle, something we, as fans, insisted he undergo.  Allow me to elaborate.

Two years ago LeBron broke up with his sweet, innocent girlfriend (The Cleveland Cavs) in front of the whole school and we hated him for that.  We, as the average kids, spited him for moving up in the world so swiftly and in a way that felt so cruel, so free of struggle.  So, we hated him; and hated him hard; and relished in the fact that he lost to a complete group of veterans (The Mavs) who had struggled, had sacrificed and had dated ugly, damaged girls (looking at you Dirk).  And we loved his suffering even more following that famous post game interview when he reminded everyone at home, that we were just the average kids in school and he was King.  We loved it, because it showed us he was hurting.

But, at some point during the off season, behind closed doors, in empty gymnasiums and weight rooms, LeBron undertook that archetypal hero’s journey that we insisted he make.  He ventured into the depths of his own psyche, exploring his motivations and his entire reason for existence as a basketball player.  And in the end, he discovered another, truer, purer version of himself.  One that arose from a place of love, rather than hate.

But, we weren’t a part of that transformation.  After all, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey is a solitary endeavor, so we continued to hate, unaware of the re-birth that was taking place before our eyes.  Well, that phase of LeBron’s journey ended last night with his first NBA Finals Championship, carried out with the peaceful, calm demeanor of the newly awakened Buddha. And then, with the clock expiring, we saw the pure, unbridled, childlike joy radiating from someone attaining a lifelong goal.  And with LeBron’s hard-earned success, the hatred will (deservedly) subside, as will the NBA’s phenomenal ratings.  And, if you don’t believe me, just read this.

(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)



  1. Christian Gani says:

    This one’s tough…my dislike of LeBron isn’t rooted in his unbelievable talent or his determination to win, both of which are staggering to watch. I suppose the negativity comes from the manner in which he handled his “decision” in the public forum, in front of everyone, but I guess it’s time to move beyond that. I’ve come to realize he’s still a young man, so some of these silly PR decisions (Not one, not two, not three…) can and should be forgotten. Regardless, his thorough domination of the playoffs is every bit as impressive as the Jordan days…

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