Altitude Vs. Attitude: The Curious Case of LeBron
Defeat and loss are two different things. People who get defeated in tournaments aren’t always the losers. And the difference all boils down to one word: ATTITUDE.
Recently the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered their most humbling defeat yet–an elimination from their run for an NBA Title in the hands of the Orlando Magic. That was a defeat that erased the marquee match-up between L.A.’s number 24 and Cleveland’s 23. That was a defeat that gave Coach Mike Brown and his gang another long vacation to sort things out and prepare for the next season. That was a defeat that gave Dwight Howard and his team a shot at winning their first ever NBA Trophy after the franchise got swept in 1995.
Yes, that should have been only a defeat.
But LeBron James’ attitude turned it into a loss.
And to make things worse, the “King” tried to justify his immaturity by saying it was just normal for the defeated guys not to shake hands with the guys who beated them. He said it in a manner that seemed like he was the poor kid who got cornered in some dark alley and there the blue-jerseyed gang of Howard picked on him. For him, defeat was a “no handshake policy.”
I’m sorry, but using LeBron’s own words, I don’t think that makes sense at all.
Put it this way: how many other teams did they defeat in the regular season that went up to them and shook their hands? Or, put it in a simpler context: way back when he was playing for his high school, how many other players that lost to their team–or to him, for that matter–had the courage and character to stretch out their hands for a handshake and said “congratulations?” Or, even still, how many other players GREATER THAN HIM, have suffered defeat at the hands of some anonymous, forgotten team, and yet they had the right attitude of accepting defeat, congratulating the winner, and moving on with a learned lesson in their hearts?
Just five years into the NBA, and here we see LeBron exuding a swagger as if he had already cemented his spot into basketball fame. Maybe he’s forgetting there’s still a lot of playing years ahead of him before he could even earn to be called a basketball legend in the truest sense. Maybe he’s forgetting there’s an entire throng of basketball players ahead of him who are still waiting in line for their names to be mentioned in the same breath as the Hall of Famers. Maybe he’s forgetting the last time he went to the finals two seasons ago, how he and his team got swept by an “aging” team like San Antonio.
Maybe, he’s forgotten to show some attitude.
And maybe, he’s forgotten what it means to be defeated.
So instead of just getting defeated, LeBron James lost, and I’m not just talking about the chance of meeting Kobe Bryant in the finals, but the most important thing that, when all is said and done, remains to be all you’ve got: respect.
LeBron’s attitude level ought to match his altitude level. If he can soar up to the rafters and splash those dunks like Oreo cookies on a glass of milk, then he ought also to lift himself up from the snares of defeat, accept that situation, and walk up to the guys that vanquished them, and shake theier hands. No, he doesn’t need to explain his side. And he doesn’t need to rationalize his loss. All he needs to do is grow up and prove that he got defeated, but he never lost.
Do that LeBron, and people will draw near to you and honor, admire and respect without ever having to don your jersey and win a championship trophy.
I think someone should give LeBron a needle to prick his head and deflate it a little.