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Someone is always going to be hating on LeBron. People were mad when he left Cleveland for Miami…to win championships, and now they’re mad that after winning championships, he opted to become a free agent so that he could possibly win more.

Now that the dust has settled, it looks like the Three Kings, James, D.Wade and Chris Bosh worked out a deal to take less money so that the Heat could acquire the kind of players that will help them get back on top.

But don’t get it twisted. LeBron didn’t do that out of loyalty to the Heat. He did it because he is first and foremost a winner.

Comedian Dominique said LeBron  is commitment challenged and she could be right. Look back at his life. His bio talks about how his dad had no interest in being part of his or his mom’s life and left at an early age. His mom had trouble staying employed and they bounced from apartment to apartment. That meant he probably learned at an early age to be wary of getting too attached to anyone or anything. The jokes write themselves. Everyone from his cell phone carrier and his family, to his barber and his Pastor should be on notice…he’s going to always be looking for the best situation.

But when I was discussing this with a friend of mine, I started to think about my own life and how I had no problem leaving one job for another one if it was better for me and my family…no matter what it meant to the people who thought I was making a mistake.   Yet, I came from a two-parent home, lived in the same house and had the same friends and family around me from birth until I went to college.

That made me think that maybe LeBron isn’t commitment challenged at all…maybe he’s failure-challenged…and I am too.

I have never been willing to settle for failure and every decision I’ve made since leaving Tuskegee, Alabama was a strategic move to do better. Was it always good for the people who wanted me to stay? Almost never. Did I let that stop me? Almost never.

I don’t believe that anyone who is truly success oriented and determined to win can spend time worrying about how those around him them will be impacted by their decision.

Whether it’s basketball or radio or politics, those who rise to the top have learned to do it by making tough choices that are rarely the most popular ones.

If everyone thought this way, the world would be a disastrous place to live in. Everyone would be out for themselves, no one would get married and stay married, and no one would make sacrifices for the sake of others. Thankfully that isn’t the case. Most people do think of others and do live their lives making move after move that’s best for those around them.

But I think people should be honest about what they want and what they’re willing to do to achieve it.

Once you reach the top of your game, I’m here to tell you, there’s time to give back and do what you can in your own way. For example, LeBron is now in the position that he can take a pay cut for the sake of building a championship team. I’ve made the same kinds of sacrifices when I got to the top of my game.  My tunnel vision as I climbed the ladder has landed me in a place where I can now afford to do things I always dreamed I’d be able to do. You say, “must be nice?” I say, “yes, it is!”

And if you have you have children it’s time to have this discussion with them. Do you want to be popular or do you want to rise to the top of your profession? You can rarely do both.

Tom Joyner’s Celebrity Selfies
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11 thoughts on “King James is Who We Thought He Was…a Winner

  1. Hello anonymous despite acolades and rings all people, money, etc., are still people. And none is particularly shitting stink worldwide. Keep it in the future.

  2. S.K.H. on said:

    There is no doubt (to me) that LeBron is a great player. He is arguably the best player in the game today. But is he on the same level as Jordan, Magic, or Bird? HELL NO! None of those players would have willingly joined forces (in their prime) with the other great players of their era to win a ring! The whole point of winning a ring was defeating the best! After getting smacked around by the Pistons Jordan didn’t jump ship and join up with another team on the verge. Nor did he petition other stars to help him out. No, he battened down the hatches and went at it again, and again until he won! And to those who want to say he had Pippen; he made Pippen step up! In those battles with the Pistons Pippen punked out on a few occasions!

    Back then there was a competitive spirit that drove those great players. Today, that spirit has been replaced by the You Tube/Selfie spirit which is all about instant gratification and style over substance. Sure, LeBron won 2 rings which is no easy feat, but when you stack your team in a manner that borders on collusion and tampering (I’m looking at you Pat Riley and Dwayne Wade by proxy) should you feel like you accomplished something? Winning a ring in-and-of-itself is the end-all and be-all today, but in reality that ring is supposed to be a symbol of the struggle and the battle to defeat the best! In Lebron’s case it could be argued that the ring is simply a symbol of making The Decision on the which superstars to join…

    If LeBron does leave Miami for another team that he cherry picks just to win a title I ask what did he really do? It’s very easy for the best player in the league to join a team right on the verge and win a championship, but it takes real heart to forge a team into a winner!

  3. Lonnie Brown on said:

    That’s what living life is all about. Love thy neighbors as you love yourself. Remember that the same people you meet going up, is the same people who needs you help to go up too.

  4. Hey folks dispite all the acolades and rings, money etc., we are still human beings. And nobody is above anything and everybodys shit stinks. Keep it in prospective.

  5. Mr. Joyner: Great commentary on LeBron James. I have followed him since he became a professional basketball player. I live in his hometown, Akron, OH. I admire LeBron for his unselfishness and what he does for the children here. He is always giving back to his community. He has a good mind for making calculating and strategic business decisions. The owners of these teams treat basketball as a business and every decision they make is in their best interest, so why should we criticize LeBron for doing the same.

  6. People with STRONG minds, think BIG. The big three are more than Basketball players, they are friends, and will stick by/with each other. They want the “Heat to be/stay on top, and they are going to find a way to make it happen. If any of you think King James is leaving the Heat? Think again……………….

  7. Tom: Good commentary… usual. Thanks. I can’t wait to see who your next wife is. You are always so loving, giving, and one of the few brothas that are willing to get married. She’s going to be one lucky lady!!

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