Locus of Control
This blog entry will be wordy because there are a few important elements I’d like to speak to you about.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer a brief commentary about the decision that Lebron James made on ESPN last night. The pandemonium was the likes of which I had never seen, so much so that the Oscar Grant Civil Rights proceedings were eclipsed –A problem in itself but I won’t comment here– by the sheer magnitude of the spectacle that is James.
I could sense both the collective elation by some “fans” and the despair in others. Jersey burnings, outrage, and classless insults by Dan Gilbert permeated the air. Its simple, they were satisfied with their Circus and their Multi-Million Dollar act, Lebron James, and Lebron James developed enough courage to put an end to it.
There was also a strange sense of apathy in the City of Cleveland as if they were familiar with this. They WERE familiar with this. They let NFL legend Jim Brown retire, to HOLLYWOOD, in his PRIME. They let two entire FOOTBALL TEAMS go, one became the Cincinnati Bengals and one became the Baltimore Ravens! Now “those two teams are kickin they ass”, as my father had puts it. This is a symptom of organizational incompetence. If anyone could see it, it would’ve been the employee, after 8 years of service.
Buzzing around me were expectations that I had come to expect from a culture that feels that they have the right to make you into either a Demigod or a Devil contingent upon whether you bend to their will or not.
These are “Fans”. The same group that welcomes you into their city so that they can marvel at your talents and claim you as exclusive property is the same group that will curse your very name, burn your jersey as an act of sacrilege, and wish you “hell” when they realize that you’re a lemon that they can no longer squeeze, manipulate, or do contract to perform tricks to their amusement. You’re freeing yourself, you’re out of their Locus of Control when you realize what power you have and take Autonomy over your own career, your own life. This enrages those who are losing “control”. Fans of new and old didn’t consider these things when they issued their knee-jerk reactions of exaltation or condemnation. Last night was a clear marker that illuminated what Human Nature has always been about. Power. When people lose that, they lose “it”…
Someone’s intelligence was underestimated last night and what he has already done for the City of Cleveland was quickly forgotten. His decision wasn’t based on money –Hell, he’s making less than Joe Johnson who is clearly a lesser player–… James, Wade, and Bosh took a pay cut because they wanted to form “team” and with this, they want to finally bag the elusive Championship. This “team” was the same one erected around Magic and Kareem at one point. Jordan, who needed Pippen’s services and then Rodman’s services from the Pistons. When Shaq was sent to assist Bryant. These so-called “Dream Teams” were no different. They were casts, put together.
The only difference in career trajectory that Lebron had than the “greats” were that they were a part of organizations that cared enough to bring talent TO them while Lebron had to perform the work his Front Office didn’t, and find those complimentaries even if it meant leaving. This isn’t NBA JAM, but this is a business and these players are employees. As an employee you seek out the job most suitable for you and your family not necessarily the job ABSOLUTE STRANGERS suggest. I’m not only a sports-lover but I’m also a lover of freedom. At LEAST let these guys enjoy their sport without shackling them with it. Fans will be fanatics until you live your life by your terms, then they become sworn enemies. It’s only a sport, it isn’t that serious. Within the realm of sports, even the most learned of individuals lose their humanity and it becomes yet another Coliseum, with Gladiators. Google that.