With two championships under his belt LeBron James leads the Heat with passion and purpose. James said he wants to be the greatest of all time. He knows in order for this to happen he has to work hard in and out of season; on and off the court.
Whether a supporter or not we can all remember July 2010 as fans from all over were tuned to ESPN waiting to hear the fate of Cleveland’s basketball royalty. He was a young, talented and bright star that sports fans watched grow from a boy into a young man. James had been the topic of discussion during that whole off-season.
Suddenly Cleveland’s star created a serious divide among the sports community world-wide. They spent countless hours debating whether or not it was right for him to ‘abandon’ the team he’d grown with for a chance at the brass ring. They didn’t understand his passion or his purpose driven life.
After his first season in Miami with a strong run for the championship, James and his “Dream Team,” failed to accomplish their desired goal. Let’s fast forward to his current status as the reigning NBA and NBA Finals MVP with two championship rings. There are multiple lessons we can learn from the King about passion and purpose regardless of our personal preference of his decision. Here are a few:
- Learn to control what you can: People can say what they want about the off–season hype on whether James would leave Cleveland or stay. One thing they will never be able to say is another forced him to do what he didn’t want to or to speak before he was ready. James did what more people should learn do; keep their mouths shut until it’s time to speak. Too often people get into trouble because they allow outside pressures to force their hand too soon. James knew what he wanted and was willing to control what he could.
- Make your commitments public: Once the infamous phrase was uttered from James’ lips, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach”, he was publically obligated to follow through. Secret commitment is never real commitment. If we are serious about obtaining our goals we have to make a public declaration of them. When the time is right, of course, we need to make our commitments known and declare what we want.
- Realize when a relationship is no longer productive: James realized his teammates were really nice and hardworking guys. However, they weren’t the people he needed to be joined to if he was going to reach his goal. He needed to find a more productive relationship that would allow him a legitimate run at the NBA title. This is where many miss the mark. They allow a false sense of loyalty to keep them connected to non-productive relationships. They may have been good for a season in life but nothing shows more heart than the ability to walk away from what no longer feeds you.
Whether or not the way he chose to leave was ethical, the reality is, he could not reach his goal in Cleveland. The exact moment his “passion” left the city, James was misaligned and out of purpose. If where you are and who you’re connected to in this phase of life does not allow you to flourish you may need to reconsider your options. Always follow your passion and take your talents with you.
These past two years in Miami James was poised and full of leadership. Even as he struggled through some games, allowing his teammates to pull their own weight, James seemed to be the glue to hold it all together. If it meant keeping calm during the press conference following a loss or being the motivating factor during half time; James was a leader.
In an interview with USA Today Sports, James explained how passion and purpose play a major role in him accomplishing his goals. James says that is not about how anyone ranks him; at the end of the day it’s his personal goal to be the greatest.
It’s important to him that he maximizes his potential, gets everything out of his career and game and that he continues to push the envelope. When people were saying he could not get any better he continued to strive higher. James said if he continues to do that he’ll be closer to reaching his personal goal.
At 28-years-old James is in the prime of his career and is poised for many more great years. He knows that greatness in the NBA is often measured by championships.
King James is a man of passion and purpose and with the start of a new season it’s already looking like the Heat are on a road to destiny.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)