The GOAT – the Greatest of All Time. It’s an expression that’s thrown around a lot in American professional sports, and it’s not always justified. But, LeBron James is different.
He’s a 3x National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship winner who also has 2 Olympic medals and 4 Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophies amongst a huge number of other plaudits. And yet, the story of his career is so much more than the highlight reel – he’s been controversial, he’s been adored, and he’s been heroic.
There are so many things to learn from LeBron, a man who rose up from adversity to become one of the greatest basketball players ever.
If there’s any lesson we can learn from James’s early life, it is surely the greatness that can result from overcoming great adversity.
He grew up in extremely difficult circumstances in Akron, Ohio; his father was a criminal with whom he had no contact, and his mother eventually encouraged him to move in with a local football coach, knowing this would improve his chances of a stable upbringing.
From humble beginnings, he went on to become a giant – metaphorically and physically. It is a deeply valuable lesson in humility and power.
Perhaps the most controversial word in the history of LeBron’s decorated basketball career. He famously left his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, with whom he started his career, to seek the glory of the Miami Heat. Yet, he returned to lead Cleveland to 2 NBA Championships, something that the city will likely never forget.
Loyalty isn’t always about being stupid or brave – sometimes loyalty is making the hard decisions and then making them again and again.
LeBron’s belief in giving back to the communities and people who shaped him have been immortalized in pop culture, with references to him buying his mother lavish presents in his hometown of Akron.
And it’s true – he’s opened a school, helped kids get into university, given millions to museums, and more. It’s a kind of karma perhaps; look after those who looked after you, and everyone benefits. An important lesson indeed.
Adapt and Keep Going
LeBron James has played for 3 NBA teams, and though he is probably nearing the end of his career now, he still has plenty of great basketball in him. He’s done what he needs to, in his game and his life, to stay at the very top of the sport.
Consistency is king in everything. The better you can be, more of the time, the faster you’ll see the results you want in every area of your life.
Come Through When It Matters
Many players are famous for being incredible, talented players – but they can’t execute when it matters. James is, if anything, the opposite. He almost always comes through in big games and is known for putting his team on his back and launching a solo attack that has changed the result of massive games.
It’s no good delivering when there’s no pressure. Learn to thrive when the chips are down, and you’ll reap the rewards every day.
LeBron James will undoubtedly go down in history as possibly the greatest man ever to step on a basketball court. But his real legacy is bigger than sports – which makes him even more special.
Learn from his life for your own, and see what it can do to make everything better.