Right away, I would like this out of the way: I have no particular love for LeBron James. Before he was ever the driving force on a team that was regularly tested by the Golden State Warriors, he was on my bad side. He was one of those guys who came out of high school to enter the NBA draft. High school. As an elementary school teacher, this kicked a great big hole in all the arguments I had for kids who did not see their paths going on to college. No matter how I described the odds, narrowing down the chances of one of these fourth graders making it past the gauntlet that would be their teenage years, they held fast to the image of LeBron James: Superstar.
The continued success of Mister James didn't do much to dampen their enthusiasm. Even those kids born and raised in Oakland, die-hard Warriors fans, were swept up in the marketed myth of LeBron James, the man who finally brought a championship to Cleveland. The man who came back to his hometown to break it out of lethargy with that championship. The man who has become a humanitarian presence in Ohio, opening a school that offers college tuition for all graduates, as a recent addition to his legend.
And so, I feel compelled to back off my previous sentiments. I have seen this man will a team with limited talent to the NBA finals, taking it on his back and pushing himself to the limit. A man who gives back to his community not just one the basketball court, but in ways that truly matter. And he was pretty funny in Trainwreck. So I'll save my venom for those moments when he is playing against the team for which I root.
Which, sadly, is not the way our "President" has chosen to approach LeBron James. Witness: "Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!" A tweet. A single tweet disparaging both men. An anchorman from CNN, and two time MVP of the NBA. Without managing to spell LeBron's name correctly. Dan Rather, retired CBS anchorman responded: "I'd much rather live in a world reflecting the values, philanthropy, and yes intelligence of LeBron James and Don Lemon's intelligent commitment to truth and journalism than the divisive peevishness, lies, and narrow self-interest displayed by the President of the United States." Don Lemon? "Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages? #BeBest"
And LeBron James? He's getting back to what he does.
I admire that.