Monday, July 12, 2010

Overlooked in the LeBron Saga

Dean threw down pretty hard on LeBron's decision to play in Miami, calling him out for not being the alpha dog his PR machine had made him out to be. I agree. But I read some pretty decent commentary about the reasons for LeBron's decision and his lack of alphaness (OMG, I meant to type LeBron and it came out Obama, just now. Not coincidence.) KT might appreciate this because it highlights another role that fathers play, that is very much overlooked, building leaders out of young men.

From Allen Hunt at Townhall:

So why in the world did Lebron James land in Miami? Love and family.
As is well-known, Lebron never had a relationship of any kind with his father. In fact, it is unclear if the identity of his father is even known.

His need for love, family, and direction were filled by a group of childhood friends with whom he formed such a close bond that they played youth league, AAU, and then high school ball together. Very little change occurred in that group. They bonded, and with the help from a few teammates' fathers, Lebron emerged as the best high school basketball player in America. However, he did not emerge as the leader. Other players in that childhood fraternity led the team; Lebron starred. And there is the crucial difference.
The top dog role does not suit him well. Deep down, he prefers to draft behind the leadership of a stronger personality – his point guard in high school, and now Dwyane Wade in Miami. Lebron is Pippen. Wade is Jordan.
It is no accident that lead dogs like Kobe, Jordan, and Wade all had strong fathers in their lives. Lebron did not. As a result, he is still emerging as a man.

I know this is hard to explain, but I read those last words and I just want to cry for LeBron James. It sounds silly; he pulls down more in a year than I will in my lifetime, or several, but I truly feel sorry for him if that article is accurate. But I was blessed by a father that was always present in my life, even to this day, and feel a sense of self confidence as a result that I had always taken for granted.

Which brings me to Obama. We elected a President who has some of the same issues as LeBron. His father was mostly absent from his life. He never had to lead before and it seems to weigh him down. His most important priority? Health care. His response? Let the Congress figure it out. His biggest crisis? The oil spill. His response? Blame others, try to look tough, fail. Peggy Noonan commented that he looked snake bit; that comment comes into clearer focus when you understand that he probably isn't emotionally ready to be a leader. God help us all if there is a real crisis. Perhaps he will rise to the occasion if called upon, certainly, the nation is capable of rising to the occasion even if its leader falls short.


  1. Wow. I hadn't seen this angle covered before on either of them. It explains a lot.

  2. B-Daddy, good take. I would like to point out that I take issue less with LeBron's decision to leave, which he had every right, than the manner in which he chose to do it.