I like LeBron James as an athlete. On his best nights, he’s a tremendous player with tons of potential. The thing he’s got to learn however is that, no matter what titles or accolades he has or how talented he is, a spirit of humility can take you places trophies and awards can’t. Take a stroll with me down memory lane as we look at LeBron’s missed moments for humility.
LeBron was not too humble when he said he would be “taking his talents to South Beach” during The Decision on ESPN. I think we all can agree on that. And, it certainly wasn’t humility when the Heat showcased James, Wade and Bosh in Miami just a day later.
Now to be fair, many would argue that LeBron was merely exhibiting a celebratory spirit with his teammates when they made their debut, and I can accept that. But, was there an element of cockiness and conceitedness at other times? You bet.
So, as the season rolled along and LeBron’s performance began to falter during the finals, it was only a matter of time before James would face the ire of media critics and sports fans across the country. With that much scrutiny and hatred targeted at a person, it’s easy to see how one begins to crack.
It’s times like those when a healthy dose of humility could have gone a long way. Sure LeBron was hurt; and yes, he may have had his feathers ruffled, but at some point someone should have stepped in and given him some words of wisdom and food for thought before he made those troubling remarks.
That wisdom could have come from his teammate Dwayne Wade or Wade’s mom, who works as a minister in Chicago, on how to overcome storms and face adversity, or any number of people in King James’ circle who had more of an outside perspective on how his comments would be received by the public. That, along with his performance in the fourth quarter of the finals, is what was truly missing.
Here’s where humility would have really helped James. Had he come to his decision to move to Miami with a lot less fanfare and a lot less hubris, most people would have reacted pretty well. And perhaps, if he said that he was hopeful for the future and wants to make the best of his time with his new team and kept expectations low, people would have been receptive to it. However, when he did the exact opposite, that’s when everything blew up in his face.
Demonstrating humility is the ability to not be proud or arrogant. It’s the capacity to present one’s self as meek or lowly in stature. It’s a lesson I hope LeBron learns and puts into practice going forward.