What I Learned While Hating Lebron James

“a man who can play well”

1 Samuel 16:17



Cleveland rocks!  That’s what I learned.




Well, let me explain. But first, a couple of disclaimers. Number One, I really don’t appreciate basketball. I never watch it, and I don’t really follow it either. So all I hear is what’s a big enough story to be in a headline here or there.


Second, it’s not really “hate”. Hate is a strong word, and I really don’t know him well enough to hate him.


So, while I don’t hate Lebron James, I do disagree intensely with his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers a few years back, and accept the offer to join the Miami Heat. (I just had to double check with my husband, because I wasn’t sure he was on the Heat. That’s how much I don’t follow basketball.) Why did I care, if I don’t care about basketball? Because I care about Cleveland. We were in Cleveland several years ago while on vacation, and I loved the city. It was clean and friendly and homey feeling. We attended a Cleveland Indians game…



… and the weather was perfect and the fans were polite and the custard was delicious. So when Lebron turned his back on his city, I took it personally. On their behalf.




But then things changed. I guess his contract was up, and when given the opportunity, he chose to come back to Cleveland and play for the Cavaliers. Now, if I were Cleveland I would have reacted in one of two ways: turning my back on him (metaphorically speaking) or responding politely but tepidly. Sort of “you rejected me once so I’m not going to let you get close enough to reject me again”. I know; textbook reaction.


But not for Cleveland. The city rejoiced. They held up signs and cheered in the streets and started buying his jersey again. All was forgiven.




I know it’s just sports. But it’s a good example. I was busy holding a grudge, for a man who didn’t do anything to me, in a sport I don’t care about.


So that’s what I learned while I was hating Lebron James: things like forgiveness, compassion, and loving others. And once again, I’m appreciating Cleveland.


~ “And there was great joy in that city.” ~

Acts 8:8


~ “if you do not forgive men their trespasses,

       neither will your Father forgive yours.” ~

Matthew 6:15


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