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Lebron James is the best basketball player in the world. He practically can do whatever he wants. However, his latest decision to leave the sunshine of Miami to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio, is more admirable than surprising.
Mr. James’ reasoning for returning “Home” have left many around the country in a state of awe. Besides, it’s not often that a superstar athlete pours his heart out about his affinity for where he grew up and takes on the responsibility to lead, not only his team, but his community.
In the days following this news, it made me realize something interesting. Being a proud native Detroiter, I can’t say that I hadn’t considered a similar move like James.
Outside from the money, fame or other superficial factors, going home for the greater good is a sign of one’s maturation through the years. Lebron actions suggest that his time away from home has shaped his latest perspective for the better.
James let his feelings be known in an article in Sports Illustrated, where he said:
“My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.”
Granted, I’m not a professional basketball player, or a celebrity by no means. However, in recent years I too had the thought of returning to the Great Lakes state with the mission of contributing to the revitalization of the Motor City.
In 2010, Lebron left his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers (although he’s from nearby Akron) with the idea of winning a champion in Miami. He teamed up with two the the game’s best players (no matter what you think, Chris Bosh is an elite talent) in a collaborative effort. They had success, but apparently James felt that he could have more of an impact in northeast Ohio.
As he noted in the Sports Illustrated article, he felt that he was ready to return home and compared his time in Miami to “college for other kids.”
This seems to suggest that he’s grown up in his 4 years in South Beach and wants to take on a more responsible role for his community. Kudos.
Nearly a decade ago, I myself relocated from my native southeast Michigan to Southern California with my eyes on a better professional opportunity. Needless-to-say, to Motor City has been on my mind.
Like James, alot of U.S. residents have left their native land to start a new chapter in their lives. Whether it’s college, work, or for chasing a dream, many of us have set out for something better.
We can look no further than the exodus that’s continued from Detroit for well over two decades.
However, since establishing a life in Southern California, I remarried and became a father for the first time. Such a move would require some serious thought and discussion.
With that being said, I’ve maintained a thought of one day returning home in the back of my mind. Now whether that happens ever happens will remain to be seen.
In a society where greatest is measured by success and one’s impact, I’ll say that Lebron’s return home definitely resonates with this guy.