LeBron James: Family moments, not NBA Finals losses, stick with me

Jason Miller/Getty Images
1 Comment

After his Heat lost the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron James said:

“All the people that were rooting for me to fail… at the end of the day, tomorrow they have to wake up and have the same life that (they had) before they woke up today,” James said. “They got the same personal problems they had today. And I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things I want to do.”

Here’s a far classier version of a similar sentiment.

LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“No,” James said Sunday when asked whether Game 3 — which the Warriors closed on an 11-0 run to erase a six-point Cavs lead with 3:09 remaining — still sticks with him. “No. I mean, listen. I’ve lost five Finals. What are you going to do about it? No.

“What’s going to stick with me is seeing my daughter smile, seeing my kids graduate high school, college. Hopefully my daughter will go off and meet the man of her dreams. That’s what’s going to stick with me. I keep telling you all, these games and wins and losses — yeah, I love it — but it’s not the be all and end all for me. So I’ve had so many moments in this game that I’m going to cherish. But Game 3 here in the Finals or a game there, I’m good. I don’t lose sleep anymore.”

LeBron seems to have his priorities in order, and that’s great. Work-life balance is important.

But I’m not sure the concept works as well in professional sports, where maniacal drive to win at all costs is celebrated. Listening to old players talk about putting everything, including family, on the backburner to win sounds commendable until actually considering the ramifications.

And it’s not as if LeBron can get his competition on the same page. Other players are hungrier than LeBron sounds here.

Maybe LeBron is so talented, it doesn’t matter. Maybe he can turn up his drive to win for only the playoffs and remain attentive to his family the rest of the year.

But, twisted or not, this is an approach with limited utility in LeBron’s professional world.