The other day I sat down and watched “More Than a Game”, a documentary on the 4 players that grew up playing basketball together in Akron, OH.
(For Netflix subscribers, the documentary is available through instant streaming)
From start to finish, it was an excellent story showing team work, leadership and individual struggles and growth. At the end of it, I realized what could be the ultimate reason LeBron James turned down all offers and headed to Miami.Follow @davevanz
For LeBron, before his pro career began, he was surrounded by a few guys that were more than his teammates on the court. These guys were family and they road the journey of their childhood together. At one point in the documentary, a guy (can’t remember who) said the power of their team was found in the long relationship these guys have had over the years. They knew each other so well from playing together, they knew exactly how to communicate with each other on the court -a talent that is developed over a long period of time and not in one season of playing together.
This type of team work is not manufactured. It’s a decision that is first made by all members of the team and then nurtured over time.
I’ve worked with people who are very talented in what they do. Some became great colleagues and others became a realization we were not going to play well together.
Although we all have our negative and positive traits, everybody wants to win in the end. Some can’t see themselves winning in the end with the team they’re with, while some can. It’s not one person’s decision, it’s everyone’s decision.
For LeBron, he entered the NBA and for the first time was without the guys he grew up playing with. He played for his home team, but I think he never truly found the same thing that gave basketball such a great feeling in his life. It wasn’t about money but the journey to find the next group of guys that he would live to play for/with. What got him the championships as a child was not high end basketball gear or fame, it was playing with his family – a team of guys that understood each other and loved each other.
LeBron wants to find the next group of guys he can walk down this NBA journey with. The closer he gets to finding those guys, the more basketball will mean to him.
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