What It's All About

8.8 seconds to go with the Championship firmly in Miami’s hands, LeBron James meets Kevin Durant in the middle of the court and they hug each other. This is in recognition of both players and teams’ great achievements. And even though one of them came ahead this year, it doesn’t take away from the others’ efforts. They are two great people who pushed each other to their highest performances and this hug is in recognition of that.

And really people, that is what this is all about.

If you’re looking for analysis of this game that’s not what I’m gonna bring today. Rather, I’m taking this last post of this series as a chance to explain to you how I feel about this game and what keeps me writing about it.

I’m doing this because of the pic above, and the fact that the other day I was listening to 89.9, a local radio station, and overheard a girl DJ there call Chris Bosh an ‘ostrich’, and rattle off a bunch of other nasty insults re LeBron and Wade. And while I know that’s only one incident of hate out of many millions out there, it just brought home the fact that not a lot of people see this game the way I do.

Basketball is about competition, and competition is about two parties wanting to go after the same thing, and doing everything they can to get it, but in the process keeping their dignity and respect for each other intact, because after all that’s what makes us different from animals.

Fact is, with the way a lot of people on the ‘net and that local radio station has been espousing hate, people are actually acting at a level much less than animals. I mean, shouldn’t the managers of 89.9 know better? Is there no adult there to tell them they’re being abusive? At least animals kill each other to survive. Here we have people hurling insults at each other and acting like pure idiots over a basketball game. It scares me to think how they’d act if it was anything more serious.

If you want an example of proper decorum, you need not look further than these guys:

These two competitors were at each other’s throats for years, always trying to get something the other had or vice versa, and in the process making each other better persons. You could even argue that if it weren’t for one another, they wouldn’t have become as good as they were on their own.

And sure they liked insulting each other, they liked telling everyone how much they ‘hated’ each other, but it was always just on the basketball court. Outside of it, they respected each other to the level of brothers.

And THAT’s what competition is about. THAT is what BASKETBALL is about. You can use each other as motivation to get better, tell the whole world you wish the other didn’t exist, but after all that’s said and done, you know a big part of why you practice so hard to make yourself better is because the other one isn’t letting up, and is meeting your challenge head on.

The fact that people don’t get that is not only infuriating, it’s sad. They are missing out on a truly great thing.

Competing brings out the best in you, and the process of making yourself good at what you do teaches you things that prepare you for life. Not only is it sad that people do not get it, they go even lower by name – calling and insults. It is like embracing yourself as an idiot and then rubbing your own face in the mud.

Summing Up

To all who paid attention to this series and the career of LeBron James, this is a great day of learning. No one in the history of sports has anyone been the target of so much ridicule and disgust. Today though, not only has he proven he can rise above it, but he can also bring his team with him and win the most coveted prize of them all to finally be called a Champion.

Take his journey to heart. Relive those days when you wondered, as I did, if he had it in him. If you number amongst his ‘haters’, remember the days when you completely doubted him. And then now look at him, look at his team and look at what they’ve done.

You are supposed to learn from today, folks. That’s another of what basketball is about. You will not do wrong by taking this to heart.