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Thread: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

  1. #1
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    Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Www.oklahomacitythunderblog.blogspot.com

    In 2006, Dirk Nowitzki failed. He endured the pain of losing when everyone thought he was going to win. He bore the brunt of the criticism following the Mavericks loss (after being up 2-0 in the Finals) to the Heat. He was 27 years old at the time, and over the next several years, despite some impressive individual performances, he and his team continued to fail. With each passing season, Dirk quite visibly wore the anguish of not bringing home a ring to his team and city. But he kept swinging.

    In 2011, Lebron James failed. After back to back seasons of leading the team with the best record in the NBA, his Cavaliers failed to reach the NBA Finals for the second year in a row. He was 26 years old at the time. Then, he bailed.

    Someday soon, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert needs to let go and move on from Lebron James. But his tweet following the Mavericks win tonight was spot-on and quite appropriate. After congratulating the Mavericks organization, he concluded simply: “There are no shortcuts. None.”

    Dirk Nowitkzi understands this. Lebron James does not.

    After getting bounced by the eight seeded Warriors in 2007, I didn’t think the Mavericks had any prayer of ever winning with Dirk as their leader. I firmly believed their window had closed and that Mark Cuban and their organization were chasing dreams by signing older players, seemingly scrambling to build around Dirk one last time. It appeared to me that their ship had sailed.

    But I underestimated their determination, desire, and heart. What we saw celebrating on the court in Miami tonight was a decade of hard work and perseverance come to fruition. We saw a team forged by disappointment and heartbreak, come together and set aside everything for one common goal. The road from Dallas to NBA Champions included no shortcuts.

    Dirk also seems to understand that you never win a championship just for yourself. How gratifying must it feel for him to hoist that trophy for the owner who believed in him, the teammates who supported him, and the fans that love him?
    Let’s say Lebron wins a title someday (I believe he will). Ask yourself this…who, besides himself, is he winning it for? The city of Miami? Please… they had to send out instructional videos (no exaggeration) on how to be a good fan, which included incentives if you arrived in your seat in time for tip off. In a few days, Dirk is going to sit on a float in a parade and hold that trophy over his head while the city of Dallas chants his name. No matter what happens in the future, it will never be the same for Lebron. His decision to take a shortcut sealed his fate in that department.

    Each of the two players mentioned above had a similar crossroads experience at essentially the same point in their career. One chose the easy way out; one dug in his heels and fought. Tonight, as so often winds up happening, the fighter won.

    When Lebron made the choice to leave Cleveland for Miami and did it in a way that humiliated his former team and city, he revealed so much. He quit on his team. He quit on his city. He quit on his fans. Most telling though…he quit on himself. Maybe now, we know why.

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  3. #2
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    I'm really glad to see Nowitzki finally get to hoist a trophy.

    As for the life lessons -- well, I'll just say it's a lot easier to stay the course when your team is owned by Mark Cuban and you know he'll spare no expense and never give up. Dan Gilbert inspires no such confidence. It's a fine line between persevering and tilting at windmills.

    And anyway, since I don't believe everything in the NBA is about LeBron, I'm still not sure why it was horrible for him to leave as a free agent and join another team with good players but it would have been perfectly fine for other good players to leave their teams and come join him.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    I believe the NBA championship will go along way in making Cuban a viable candidate to own a MLB team. Like the Dodgers.

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    And anyway, since I don't believe everything in the NBA is about LeBron, I'm still not sure why it was horrible for him to leave as a free agent and join another team with good players but it would have been perfectly fine for other good players to leave their teams and come join him.
    I agree with this statement, although I get why "The Decision" bothered Cleveland fans. It didn't bother me that he left as a free agent to try and win a championship.

    I hated the Heat before LeBron, and it was the press conference/rally "Yes We Did" and "Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6" championships boast that really made me enjoy Dallas' victory.
    "The players make the manager, it's never the other way." - Sparky Anderson

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    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Lot's of people leave there jobs for what they perceive is a better opportunity. It's not "bailing", and it's not a shortcut.

    If you had to bet on whether LeBron would win a championship or not, I suspect many would bet against him today. I'd gladly take that action.

    GL

    /doesn't care one way or another about LeBron, the Cavs, the Heat, the Mavs, or the NBA.

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Gonelong-- I too, believe he will win a ring, but it won't mean all that much.

    Sports isn't like every other job in the world in that the competition itself is what matters most in the game.

    And let's say it was the real world... Let's say you had a contract with a company and that contract was up. They wanted you back and were willing to pay you the maximum amount allowed under law. Then they asked, "do you accept?"

    Your response would be "maybe, I'll let you know later." And then you refuse to return their calls or calls from your fellow employees (Mo Williams confirme Lebron shunned all teammates).

    Then a few weeks later without telling your former employer you decide to tell them...

    "Tune in tonight and see what my decision is....."

    So, everyone does and for an hour you hem and haw and finally announce you aren not coming back.

    How do you think that would go over in the real world?

    Going to Miami showed great competitive weakness from Lebron. MJ didn't win in his first six years either, but can you imagine him going to join forces with Isaiah, Barkley, or Olajuwon? Same with Bird, Magic, etc. And it's not just a generational thing-- Kevin Durant could have walked to an easier path but he has chosen to stick it out.

    There is nothing illegal about what Lebron did, it's just incredible weak and reveals much about his character and competitive spirit. I think he will eventually win a ring or two-- good Lord how could they NOT? But winning multiple rings in Miami won't mean nearly as much as had he just won one in Cleveland.

    Let's say Dirk leaves Dallas after 2006 and joins up with Kobe. He would probably have 4-4 rings right now, but this one in Dallas means so much more.

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    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Quote Originally Posted by Edskin View Post
    But winning multiple rings in Miami won't mean nearly as much as had he just won one in Cleveland.
    To who?

    GL

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    There are no shortcuts? As Victor Hugo would say, "strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause."
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Quote Originally Posted by gonelong View Post
    To who?

    GL
    Like I said in the article, if you only do something for yourself, if the goal is only to win a title for yourself, then I guess it won't matter when, where, or under what circumstances. But winning in Cleveland would have meant so much so many. Lebron was under no obligation to stay. But his choice to leave reveals much about who he is IMO

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    I'm opposite. I was pulling for the Heat to win this series.

    Obviously I'm not a fan of LeBron and the dog and pony show that went on with the "decision", but my dislike was more with Dan Gilbert.

    As bad as Miami is without the Big Three, LeBron had garbage surrounding him in Cleveland. You can use the Jordan excuses, but the MJ led teams had some pretty good players playing for them, namely Scottie Pippen. Even when D-Wade won his first title he had Shaquille O'Neal in probably his last great season.

    LeBron lobbied for Gilbert to get Amare Stoudemire, he got Antawn Jamison.

    When LeBron became a free agent, Gilbert tried to use the hometown card to resign him. One of the bits I remember reading involved a PowerPoint presentation using Family Guy to appeal to LeBron's lighter side.

    So when the decision happened, I felt bad for the Cavs fans. This is a city that has had their heart ripped out a lot. With the Indians losing in the WS to the Marlins, the Browns leaving for Baltimore, and now the native son "taking his talents to Souf Beach".

    Of course, then the letter by Gilbert following the announcement, assuring the Cavs fans that they wouldn't turn their back on the fans (despite already selling season tickets before LeBron left to watch the crap that would take place following) and that the Cavs would win a championship before the "self proclaimed King" won one.

    Dan Gilbert is a businessman, pure and simple. He didn't surround LeBron with the talent necessary to win in the postseason and expected him to put a horrendous team on his back and carry them. When LeBron upped and left, he issued a childish letter to the Cleveland papers despite fleecing his own fan base before that.

    Of course, Cleveland has some consolation in that they hold the first and fourth overall picks in the draft in a couple of weeks. The downside is that this is the weakest NBA draft in some time. If they are still down next year (assuming there isn't a lockout), they could be in a prime position to draft another native Ohioan in Jared Sullinger, who I think would be more loyal to the Buckeye State. Add Sullinger to a likely draft of Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter and the Cavs could be back in contention shortly.

    Regarding LeBron, with his comments the other day following the Heat loss, if I was a player rep I would be chewing him out in the media. The NBA is likely headed toward a lockout and the comments are similar to those made by Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to modern day slavery. You need the players to avoid making stupid comments that are going to alienate the fans, and this doesn't help.
    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    I've read books about sparkling vampires who walk around in the daylight that were written better than a John Fay article.

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Quote Originally Posted by Edskin View Post
    Like I said in the article, if you only do something for yourself, if the goal is only to win a title for yourself, then I guess it won't matter when, where, or under what circumstances. But winning in Cleveland would have meant so much so many. Lebron was under no obligation to stay. But his choice to leave reveals much about who he is IMO
    Do you really think this is a fair characterization? The only place he could win an unselfish title is Cleveland?
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Quote Originally Posted by Edskin View Post
    Like I said in the article, if you only do something for yourself, if the goal is only to win a title for yourself, then I guess it won't matter when, where, or under what circumstances. But winning in Cleveland would have meant so much so many. Lebron was under no obligation to stay. But his choice to leave reveals much about who he is IMO
    This is a sore subject for me because my neighbor just can't let this alone.

    I suspect it will mean quite a bit to the Heat fans if he wins one in Miami. It will mean a lot to the organization, the city, the fans, his family, his team mates, etc. It just won't mean much to Cleveland.

    The last year has revealed much more about NBA fans than it has about LeBron IMO.

    GL

    /realize I am **way** in the minority on this one.

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Do you really think this is a fair characterization? The only place he could win an unselfish title is Cleveland?
    You are oversimplyfying this too much. It's not just one thing. It's not just that he left. It's not just The Decision. It's not just that it is pretty clear he made up his mind a year or more in advance. It's not that he chose the Heat who already had a star.....

    Everything Lebron has done has combined to lead me to my conclusion.

    It is different to me if a guy leaves a longtime team when he is in the sunset of his career to chase a ring. If Lebron was 31 and still hadn't broken through in Cleveland, it would make much more sense to me. But to do it at age 26 was very premature.

    Lebron himself is on record as saying MJ is idol and that he wants to go down in history with those types of players. I don't understand how you can say that and then decide to "join forces" at age 26?

    Lebron is a walking hypocricy.

    If Lebron had called a normal press conference and said

    "I feel too much pressure in Cleveland, I'm not comfortable here anymore and don't feel we are close to winning a title. I think I need someone to help me carry the load and I'd really like to play with a couple of my buddies. So I'm joining the Heat."

    Had he said that, I would have still considered him less than a killer competitor, but I would not have felt any real animoisty towards him, and I doubt most other fans would have either.

    You go to play a pick-up game at the Y...there are two guys far superior to everyone else. The natural instict there for most would be that those two guys are the captains....but what if those two guys insist on being on the same team? That's my best analogy. It's not "wrong." It's weak.

    Lebron is weak. His excuses are weak. His decisions are weak. And honestly (and this surprised me too) his performance in the Finals was weak.

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    Quote Originally Posted by gonelong View Post
    This is a sore subject for me because my neighbor just can't let this alone.

    I suspect it will mean quite a bit to the Heat fans if he wins one in Miami. It will mean a lot to the organization, the city, the fans, his family, his team mates, etc. It just won't mean much to Cleveland.

    The last year has revealed much more about NBA fans than it has about LeBron IMO.

    GL

    /realize I am **way** in the minority on this one.
    Heat fans? Yes, I'm sure both of them will be very happy

    That was just another kick to the groin...he leaves a town with a sports fever and joins the Heat, which very well may have the worst fans in the league and maybe all of pro sports. This is not just hyperbole either....awful attendence in recent years despite a title in 2006 and Wade.

    And even in these playoffs, they were giving away free food to anyone who arrived in their seat for tip off and sent instructional videos to fans on how to cheer properly...you should watch it, it's pretty funny.

    No one in Miami cares....all reports were that that arena was more or less dead and compared to the other teams in the playoffs it was a morgue.

    But like Lebron said after the series, he gets to wake up tomorrow and go back to his life and all of his critics have to wake up and go back to theirs.

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    Re: Life Lessons From Dirk and Lebron

    WV-- on the flip side, Trevor Ariza was more or less ready to sign and he was the type of player the Cavs really needed. But he backe away when Lebron would not commit. Lebron's decision to not reveal his plans, though his right, did hinder what the Cavs could do.


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