xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml'> The Pastor's Perspective: The MIS-EDUCATION OF LEBRON JAMES

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Monday, June 13, 2011

The MIS-EDUCATION OF LEBRON JAMES

  
Our readers know I don't spend a lot of time writing about sports and sports figures in this blog. I usually devote this platform to more weightier issues like, religion, politics, as well as other societal issues.  But, I chose to write a few paragraphs about this young man who I believe has been mislead and misguided by the people that surround him, and has caused him to misunderstand what the meaning of a leader truly is. Those of you who follow us on on Twitter @PSTRNIMMONSTV know that I didn't care much for the Miami Heat or Lebron James, not for some of the usual reasons; not my home team, traditional bitter rival of my home team, and the list goes on and on. But, my reasoning for disliking this year's Heat Team and Lebron James, is because they thought they could manufacture GREATNESS. They thought by getting together who they believed to two the best guards in the league alongside an average at best small forward, they could propel their way to an NBA Championship. And, up until the NBA Finals; it seems, the Heat, during the playoffs looked like a formidable opponent and may be even a lock for the NBA Championship. But, once the "Three Amigos" met the the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, it looked like the Heat's fairytale ending was quickly turning into into a terrible nightmare.

But, my dislike of Lebron James goes back further than this years playoffs, it goes back further than him joining the Miami Heat and his controversial "Decision" reality TV show. It goes back even further than his 7 years with the Cleveland Cavaliers. For me, it goes back to when I first became acquainted with his high school phenom Lebron James well before he entered the NBA. The pomp and circumstance that seemed to follow this young man even before he was drafted was a bit over the top. I remember hearing how his autographs and other memorabilia was being put on E-Bay and auctioned for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Yes, I read articles and saw footage on how talented this young man was, and how it appeared as if he was going to take the world by storm. He made the decision to skip college and go straight to the NBA, where his talents would be on display before millions on a regular basis. Lebron was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2004 signing a 90 million contract at the time that would make him the highest paid rookie in NBA history. After that came a long list of endorsements and other incentives that would increase the exposure and public consumption of this growing media juggernaut. But, for me it was always too much to fast for someone as young and immature as he seemed to be. His talent made all of this available, but his youth and immaturity would send him on a collision course of unrivaled proportions if he was not careful. Dubbing himself "King James" really solidified my dislike of this young man, never having accomplished anything on the level he was aspiring to reach. Posters and pictures of him with outstretched arms of on buildings and skyscrapers with the caption "Are You A Witness" suggesting that we are at a pivotal moment in time where we are "witnessing" greatness unfold before our very eyes.


And, so at least from where I was standing it appeared as if this young man was slowly becoming a product of the media and receiving undue accolades and credit when not much was ever done to qualify him for the attention he seemed to have received. And, I believe its one thing for a person to get attention; and for the media to hype you up and to say great things about you, and for that person to shy away from that attention as if to say I'm undeserving of all of this. But, it is something very different with the subject of the media attention embraces and almost embellishes it to the point that it actually becomes sickening. What it demonstrates to me is their inability to handle the spotlight; the inability to handle the attention. Essentially, it was too much to fast. And, in this age of Twitter, Facebook and all of other social networks, a person's stardom can take off much faster in today's time than anytime in history. Subsequently, once the public has embraced you, it then becomes almost a whirlwind of fan-dom that if not checked could easily go to a person's head. And, this is what we are "witnessing" with Lebron James. A talented young man, who got a taste of stardom too fast, when it is usually dolled out in smaller increments; where you see a person's rise to fame happen more slowly and deliberately.  

The people surrounding him are there only to stroke his ginormous size ego and no one ever chastises him or criticizes his actions. And, that's why you constantly see a young man in front of the media who really looks like a little boy. A self proclaimed "King" that really looks like a child searching for his true identity. His own mother; someone that should be there to offer advice, counsel and even discipline, is too busy carousing with former teammates and basking in the glow of this new lifestyle she's privy too, far too busy to give him the help he so desperately needs. In a real sense I feel sorry for him, because if he never finds someone that can really mentor him and counsel him; if never finds someone that he respects and will listen to, his 15 minutes of fame may soon run out. And, in the end what would he have had to show for it. It would have only amounted to nothing more than a wild ride; the equivalent of a 5 minute roller coaster ride they left a person dizzy and disheveled wondering what really happened.

I write this blog not to simply pile on this young man; the media is doing a pretty good job of that, but I write this blog for the millions of fans some of which are little boys who want to one day grow up and be like Lebron James. I caution you in as you pick your heroes, roles models and those you want to pattern yourselves after. Don't get so caught up in the talents and gifts of a person; don't get so blinded by the media hype and attention that they receive that you cannot see their true character. Gifts and talents are a dime a dozen. In fact, the bible says that, "Gifts and callings come without repentance." And, at the end of the day it doesn't matter how gifted you are, but what is most important is how did you handle your gift. Your character is far more important and significant that how gifted you may be. And, unfortunately in this age of "Bling Bling," "MTV" & "BET" all that our youth see is the materialism that comes with being gifted. But, if they look close enough they can also see the character of the talented as well. Unfortunately, for our youth the shine of the "Bling Bling" often times blinds them to the true character of the gifted. I challenge you to look deeper than what you see and read, look deeper than what you hear and are being told about a person. And, make your selection of your role models on more than what they drive, where they live and how much money they have.

I leave you with the words of Dr. King; "The true measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenges and controversy."

Your thoughts?

Pastor Michael S. Nimmons

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