Friday, July 23, 2010

How a Conversation Starts....

I have heard many stories about pro athletes who were spurned on Draft Day, or cut, or were simply drafted lower than projected. They felt insulted, let down, deceived, and mostly just hurt.

Then they put their heads down and that feeling stays with them, through the bus trips, the work outs, the failures, the let downs, and eventually they stop sliding down the hill and start climbing up.

And when they get going, boy do they really get going! Years pass and I've forgotten all about them; but one day I'm watching a highlight on ESPN or YouTube and there he is again, sprinting towards the goal, leading a pack and I just know they won't catch him. Could be a fast break, a fumble return, or simply a player stretching a single into a double and arriving just as the ball arrives. Tie goes to the runner.

He's not the top player or the face of the franchise, but he is the player who makes every hustle play and comes up with something when everyone else thought there was nothing there. In fact, he came up with something for his life, his definition of self, when the 'experts' evaluated him and found nothing there.

Too bad we don't have a word for that. There has to be a word in Spanish, Italian, French, or Swahili (spelling?), that sums up that feeling of determination brought on by how the conversation starts, by that initial rejection in the face of hope and perhaps a touch of expectation.

That is the mentality that is required to achieve one's potential.

When I think of LeBron, I think of the worlds best basketball player. But I also think of a person who has always, and I mean always, had success. With everything he does. He won three state championships in high school, was so far ahead of the pack in the draft that it wasn't even exciting watching the draft but more exciting watching the lottery to see which team won the draft and would draft him. The draft is supposed to be a day where the players see who picks them. LeBron watched a lottery between multi-millionaires to see would get him. He flipped it on his head.

In the NBA he has already won back-to-back MVP awards, been to the NBA finals, all-star game MVP, etc., etc., etc. Everything he has turned his mind to he has done simply by willing it to happen.

Except one thing.

You know what it is. I know what it is. And that thing, which I won't name, has not occurred despite having the best record in the entire league two seasons in a row. And LeBron has definitely willed himself to win it. He has tried and for the first time in his life had failure.

So it shouldn't be a surprise that he turns his attention to another team, with a proven leader that he can team with, to a team completely stacked so they can win the title by simply willing themselves to win, just like LeBron has done with everything else in his life.

No comments: