Basketball: A Love Story

I caught the end of this special series on ESPN while jogging on a treadmill at some hotel out there:

Disclosure: I never watch ESPN, but I was immediately drawn to the story of LeBron because I love stories of folks who do things a little differently than the norm.

And although I don’t know a lot about basketball, I enjoyed learning about all the dynamics of the various players and within their teams. I especially loved learning about LeBron James evolution as a player over the years. There’s a clip on ESPN over here. In particular, I loved hearing about how in the early part of LeBron’s career, he was considered less of a “killer instinct” player as compared with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. That meant LeBron’s instinct was to instead leverage the full power of the entire team — versus try to do everything by himself as evidence of his being the greatest power of the court.

You can read the various shade that persists to this date about his approach of not playing with the “killer instinct.” But I like this piece on him USA Today that highlights his unique leadership qualities as a player-leader as quoted by one of his teammates:

“We always talk about, on this team, about pride and ego and checking it at the door. As great as he is, he’s one of few examples of the world’s best player in any sport dealing with his pride and ego. His pride, his ego, he could easily go out and lead the league in triple-doubles every night. But his pride is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful. So his only thought in every situation is, ‘How can I make these guys better? How can I take these guys to the promised land? How can I make these guys champions?’ The rest of his game flows from there.” —James Jones

I now have a firmer understanding of why everyone wishes they had LeBron on their team. Wow! I might even watch basketball now … —JM