Alex and LeBron - And What Really Matters
Last week, while the rest of the planet was finding out that LeBron James was packing his bags for Miami, I was watching So You Think You Can Dance to find out the status of an Achilles tendon. LeBron has left Northeast Ohio saddened - and angry - not just because of his decision, but the manner in which he chose to sucker-punch Akron and Cleveland (even more grievous if it’s true they began orchestrating the move in December). Meanwhile, a young dancer with tons of promise announced on national television that he had suffered a career-threatening injury. Which event do you think had me in tears?
In the end, LeBron could do what he wanted. He is one of the most-powerful athletes in the world and yet, he’s never more than 20 miles from the place he was born. He didn’t go to college. He was drafted into the pro team next door. So, this move is part of his life experience. The Cavs have had 7 years to earn a championship and it hasn’t happened - let him try with the Heat. LeBron is also someone who thrives with a team. That’s how it was at St. V’s. His team is not filled with guys like him, his friends are still his high school group. We wanted him to be loyal to the Cavs, because it seemed like our best chance at winning a sports championship. But who knows?
I think he’s going to hate living in Miami. Visiting these cities and living there are different things, and Florida has a weird vibe. It doesn’t matter, because the Cavs are moving on, with a new coach that really likes rebuilding teams and a group of motivated players. The fans are more behind the team than ever. It’s a matter of principle now - the team and the region have something to prove to the world, and that makes us all stronger. Maybe we can stop the universal self-loathing long enough to make a change and focus on the positives of Cleveland for once.
As far as the dancer’s future goes, Alex Wong will have surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles on Tuesday. If all goes well, he can dance again in three months. He is not a multimillionaire and even if he won SYTYCD (which he was likely to do), a dancer’s future is always iffy. The jobs are few and far between and they have a shelf-life that’s even shorter than that of athletes. The good news (something that makes his early exit harder on viewers) is that his dances so far were fantastic and he showed talent, heart and a great personality - so hopefully he will take up where he left off once he has healed.
Life is filled with tough decisions and all we can do is our best. Someday, I hope LeBron apologizes for The Decision, even if he never plays for the Cavs again. The team will go on and so will we. And, think about Alex on Tuesday. I want to see him dance again (and often).