Rewriting the Narrative

Mark Duncan AP

It almost never happens.Very few people get the opportunity to rewrite the narrative of their lives.  The reason is obvious: it isn’t until the consequences of our choices are made clear do we know if they were good or bad.

Last Friday NBA Superstar LeBron James began rewriting his own narrative, as well as the City of Cleveland’s.  In a move that was considered unfathomable, James signed a two year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he scorned by leaving without warning 4 years ago to join the Miami Heat.  LeBron instantly became NBA public enemy #1, a title held before by the likes of Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest, guys who actually had run afoul of the law in some regard.

Admittedly James himself was taken surprised by the backlash.  It wasn’t just Cleveland and Ohio sports fans who were angry with him.  The media successfully painted him as a selfish athlete, who cared more about taking the easy way out (James spent the first 7 years of his career in Cleveland but failed to win an NBA title) than working through adversity.  The fact that James teamed up with fellow superstars and off the court friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  Despite the Heat  reaching the NBA Finals 4 years in a row, and wining two NBA Championships, it didn’t remove the tarnished image of deceit and betrayal in the eyes of many.

To be fair to LeBron, the goal of most professional athletes is to win titles and championships.  It is what ultimate defines an athletes career as a success, or a failure.   The Cavalier team LeBron was on just wasn’t good enough to reach that goal, so he did what was best for him and changed his situation for a better one.

It is a hard thing to make a right a wrong, especially when you don’t have to.  LeBron didn’t owe Cleveland anything.  Some would even argue he should have left earlier than he did.  But LeBron is wise enough to understand that with this act, he can win back the hearts he lost, at the same time cement his place in history.  Just look at how Cleveland and the NBA have applauded his move so far; one forgets that now Miami is Cleveland of 2010, where Wade and Bosh are left scratching their heads.

We have all experienced similar occurrences.  An ex who actually returns your stuff, a teacher you were at odds with giving you a C when you really deserved an F, your pest of a sibling who took the rap for you that one time you were really in for it.  When people exhibit acts of virtue and integrity, you see them in a whole new light.  It’s as if all the bad stuff they’ve done in the past is erased.  They are showing the ability to grow and evolve, by learning from their mistakes.  No one with a heart can frown at that: their rewritting the narrative.

Although i’m a New York Knicks loyalist (sup Nasir) i’m proud of LeBron.  It’s a very risky but stand up move that will make or break his career.  But LeBron has already won what really matters.


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