Today, I almost let having too many ideas stop me from posting to the blog, but one sentence I said on the radio this morning quickly embedded itself into the top idea seconds after words came out of my mouth. Bear with me, there is a life lesson to explore.
But first, let’s talk NBA basketball. So this morning, what I had said was, “LeBron James has the extra burden of looking across the court and seeing himself sitting on the bench, wearing OKC gear instead of Cleveland Cavs gear . . .”
The 2012 NBA Championship Series is upon us, but we’re going to start this analogy by going back to the series that determined the 2006-2007 champion. That year, a younger LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Eastern Conference Finals, and the 2003 First Round Draft Pick was preparing to show the world that talent would can reign supreme for what was going to be the beginning of a Cleveland sports resurgence and a dynasty for the Cavaliers themselves. That script was quickly tossed into a trash can as the Cavaliers were swept 4-0 by the San Antonio Spurs (who were considered old five seasons ago), and then that trash can was filled with gasoline and set on fire after The Decision for James to ‘take his talents to South Beach’ and the Miami Heat at the end of the 2009-2010 season.
The 2010-2011 season would see that decision almost pay off to easily, until the world watched the Heat choke away the championship to the Dallas Mavericks 4-2.
The rising star for the 2012 Western Conference Champions is Kevin Durant. A stroke of luck made him the second round draft pick in 2007 to the Seattle Supersonics. An act of God made it necessary for the New Orleans Hornets to evacuate their hurricane ravaged city and split time with Oklahoma City for a season. And a stroke of business genius (or possible dubious plot) by Commissioner David Stern allowed for OKC to poach the basketball team SEA seemed unwilling to continue to pay for.
James had a chance to shock the world in 2007 and silence the haters in 2011. This year, it’s more about proving to himself that he deserves the title King James than the doubters, although there are a lot of doubters. By contrast, Durant has a better than fair chance of winning a championship ring for his small market team on his first attempt.
I owe you a lesson out of my ramblings, so here it is: how many of you have made it in your field, or at least consider yourself on the verge of making it, only to look some new competitor in the eye and swear you are staring into your own soul as you were trying to make a name for yourself? How many of you have fresh memories and scars that came from necessary lessons learned when you were on the fresh side of the competition? You are obviously not going to roll over and let your competitor take your win because you feel sorry for your past self, but are you going to pour on the punishment like that past competitor did to you? Just a little something to consider.
And my official 2012 Finals pick? OKC in 6.