His history of struggle, progress, constant challenges, titles and awards goes hand in hand with social, political and anti-racist commitment. An icon of this era and champion with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Haters gonna hate”. Haters are going to hate. In times when everyone’s opinion is one click or a scroll away, LeBron James has his detractors. One imagines that they are less than his followers, but he is not lacking. Consumed his fourth NBA title with his third different franchise (Los Angeles Lakers), at haters fewer and fewer arguments remain.
Unlike big stars who found a home, settled in and never left again – and no one says that’s wrong – James is non-conformist and restless by nature. That is why he did not hesitate to leave Miami when he accumulated four consecutive finals, with two rings, and had everything to build a dynasty of who knows how many years together Dwyane Wade Y Chris Bosh.
“My relationship with the city is bigger than basketball. I didn’t see it four years ago; now I do,” he said in 2014 when he returned to Cleveland, in his native Ohio state. And he gave his home the title that it had not achieved in its first stage (2003/2010).
“The most difficult thing is to leave what I built,” he said when leaving the Heat. He didn’t mind doing it again in 2018, after breaking Golden State’s hegemony and forcing the Warriors to put together a rarely seen team (with four All-Stars) to beat him.
If a condition stands out in James it is that: be reckless. He had already conquered the league with Miami to leave, start from scratch and also do it with the Cavaliers. He chose to reinvent himself once more.
He did it by fulfilling a dream that at the same time had a lot of challenge: to put on the jersey of one of the iconic NBA franchises, which had lost its shine in recent years, sunk into ostracism, with the longest streak of its life. without even making the playoffs.
“It is a champion franchise and it is what we are going to try to recover. I am happy to be part of this culture and the idea of taking the team back to its place,” he said when he released a video making his decision official.
If the Jordanian competitive gene could only be matched by Kobe Bryant, it must be said that neither the two of them nor anyone else was encouraged to reinvent himself as many times as the Lakers forward. He is an architect who may not build the tallest skyscrapers, but there has been no one who built so many.
It’s impossible to blame the Jordans or the Messis who choose to stay in one place and make big-time history. After all, what reasons could there be to leave the best Chicago or the best Barcelona in history? LeBron James’s is one: absolute passion for the challenge. That makes it neither better nor worse: it makes it different. At this juncture, even unique.
“I am excited to build a group, strengthen it and help it reach places that I did not think it could go,” he said when he returned to Cleveland as an adult, commander on and off the field. He repeated it with the Lakers, although for this season the young nucleus that was there when he arrived was exchanged for Anthony Davis.
It was with this player, ultimately, that LeBron also showed the stamp of wisdom, altruism and leadership. It is false that any team with players of the caliber of James and Davis would be champion walking: numerous pairs of cracks they have gone through the NBA without success, sunk because of the excessive egos.
But he also tested it on the rest. At 35, he is in a moment of full maturity. He was a mainstay in the union of this team that had strong personalities such as Davis himself, Rondo region or a Dwight Howard who at the time did not know how to get along with Kobe, failed in the assembly of the 2012 Lakers model and now, changed, he embraced the role of a spare man.
LeBron took advantage of the conflict the NBA encountered in China last October because of the support of Daryl Morey (Houston manager) to Hong Kong. The Lakers were in Asia and there, waiting to play, began to seal the human bonds. He also led the organization during the pandemic, kept the exchange between team members fresh and finished melting the amalgam into the bubble from Orlando.
Without so much history in the franchise, but his face being known today, James was the representative voice since the death of Kobe Bryant. And he took his legacy. On Sunday he was crowned for the fourth time and achieved his fourth award for Most Valuable Player of the final series, two of the six who won in the ’90s none other than Michael Jordan, the best in history.
Before and during the confinement in Florida, calls for an end to racial violence were voiced. It became a symbol of Black Lives Matter To the point that Udonis Haslem (the oldest player in the league, 40 years old) told him that everyone was going to follow what he decided.
It is making more and more noise outside the stadiums. Is that what causes you to have so much rejection? Will that social commitment, that founds a school, that cares for the children, that defies the establishment that asks you to “shut up and play” and take charge of the campaign “More than a vote” (“more than a vote”), that Donald Trump has it in his sights?