Friday, June 5, 2009
What do you mean by winning?
Have you been following the NBA finals? Did you know that Orlando Magic beats Cleveland Cavaliers to move into the finals against LA Lakers?
My second son goes gaga over the defeat as he love Lebron James a lot. But it's ok, he now root for the Lakers. I am no fan of Lebron though after I have read what he had told a reporter during the interview on why he disappeared after the game. “It’s hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them. I’m a winner. It’s not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you’re not going to congratulate them. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a competitor. That’s what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand.”
Say it again??!! Clearly, Lebron still needs to learn a thing or two about being a winner. Everything in his statement above is wrong, or smacks of bad values. Of course, it’s hard for anyone to congratulate someone who has just beaten him, but that is precisely what winners are made of. Being a winner is knowing how to accept defeat.
Of course, what Lebron did was poor sportsmanship. It does make sense to congratulate the person who just beat you up in a game—above all for real competitors. It does make sense to go over and shake somebody’s hand after he lent you a crushing defeat—above all for real winners. In fact, poor sportsmanship is the least of what’s wrong with what Lebron did.
Athletes are suppose to honor their opponent, because they make him better. And also because they challenges him to rise to greater heights. He should drive home the point that the competition is not an enemy, but rather an ally despite the ferocity of his opposition, despite the obstacle he puts in his path. Sports competition extends the point that in the end, an athlete is not really competing against other people, but is competing against himself. That’s where the real gold is.
Maybe he should watch more Star Trek so he too will know that the final frontier isn’t outer space, it is inner space.