LeBron James wished to win an NBA championship with his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Universe said, “Your wish is my command.” I’m not sure if LeBron knew what all he had ordered. Cleveland had not seen a championship trophy since their football team won in 1964. This city was considered “cursed” and he wanted to be instrumental in lifting the curse.
The Innocent Young Buck
Lebron carried the Cavaliers to the finals in 2007. After four years in the NBA, he finally made it to the big dance. This was his chance to lift the curse and bring a championship trophy home to Cleveland. He was just 22 years old and life was looking peachy, almost too good to be true. The Spurs were not big fans of Lebron’s plan, and consequently, they treated the Cavs like trash and swept them off the court.
Every hero has to go through a journey, and this was part of LeBrons. After being swept by the Spurs in 2007, LeBron could not get the Cavs back to the Finals. He tried and tried, but he was not surrounded by enough talent & coaching. LeBron was just a young man at this time, he lacked in maturity and decision-making skills. He was not yet a hero, but rather still in training to become the champion he had wished to become.
It was evident that LeBron lacked maturity when he handled the best decision he had ever made in the poorest way possible. In 2010, LeBron decided to leave his hometown team in an effort to win a championship. He handled this poorly and caused the whole nation to hate him. He handled it like a young man, like a hero in training that was still in need of guidance. His previous hometown fans took to the streets in droves, burning his jerseys left and right.
LeBron, still shaken by all the hate, disappeared in the Finals with his new team, the Miami Heat, that year. Over the next three years, he went on to win two championships. The Heat did something that the Cavs failed to do, surround LeBron with good players and adequate coaching. LeBron grew into a full grown man during those four years. This was essential for his journey, as he learned how much he truly cared for his hometown fans.
After four fun years in Miami, LeBron decided to return to Cleveland to fulfill his promise of bringing a championship home. Leaving Cleveland was the best decision LeBron made. During his villainous four-year stint with the Heat, the Cavs sucked and never made the playoffs. This allowed them to get better draft picks, and get some good players on their roster. They acquired a superstar in Kyrie Irving.
Now LeBron was back home, had a good squad, and two championships under his belt. He was a champion, but he hadn’t yet won the championship that was most important to him. In his first year back with the Cavs, he made it all the way to the Finals, but as fate would have it, the other key players on the Cavs were injured. LeBron had to try and carry a crippled team all by himself, again. The Cavs came up short in the Finals, losing to the Golden State Warriors in 6 games. What a disappointing end for LeBron.
Nonetheless, LeBron acted as any hero would. He got back to work with his dream in mind of bringing that championship trophy home to Cleveland. In 2016, the Cavs cruised into The NBA Finals, only losing two games in the playoffs prior to The NBA Finals. This time, LeBron had his superstar buddy, Kyrie Irving, by his side.
After coasting through the playoffs, the Cavs were not up to the challenge. Golden state won three out of the first four games. Being just one game from elimination, the Cavs responded to the pressure in the way that creates diamonds. The hero in LeBron James fully activated at this time, as he saw the city of Cleveland in desperate need and did what any real hero would do.
LeBron & Kyrie both scored 41 points in the next game and put a beat down on the Warriors. Lebron scored 41 points again during the following game as they forced a game 7. After two 41 point games, Lebron was just one win away from actualizing his wish of bringing a championship to the city of Cleveland.
The last game of the 2016 NBA Finals was a close game all the way. LeBron scored 11 out of 18 points in the fourth quarter. With 53 seconds left to go in the fourth, the game was tied and Kyrie Irving made a ballsy three-pointer to give the Cavs the lead. Lebron added on one free throw and the Cavs won the championship by four points. LeBron completed his journey and finally realized his wish. During the finals LeBron led both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He was unanimously voted finals MVP, and is now the hero of Cleveland.
He could not have done it without Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the supporting cast. If LeBron never vacated Cleveland, the Cavs would have never have been able to put together the roster that brought home the trophy. When LeBron took on the task of lifting the curse from Cleveland, I’m sure he didn’t know that it would require getting swept, become hated by his hometown, choking in Miami, maturing in Miami, and returning home to a stronger roster. The thing that made Cleveland hate LeBron turned out to be what helped them get the championship they so lustfully desired.
If you have a wish as big as LeBron’s, it might require a similar journey. Every hero has a different journey that is tailored to develop each hero in the areas they need to be developed. If you don’t have what it takes to endure a long, tiresome, hellish journey, then I have six words for you. Be careful what you wish for.