I don’t know all the specifics of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland. Heck. Wait. I don’t know ANY of the specifics. What I do know is an incredible businessman when I see one.
James has never been on my big list of ballers. There was too much hype when he first came on the scene. As a result of said hype, when James didn’t deliver in his NBA career to the Cavaliers as they (or he) wanted (put a ring on it, Man!) he left the city in one of the coldest ways possible.
That was his right. The NBA had no rules against “The Decision” as it were. Go ‘head, Mon. Do your ting.
But the city of Cleveland burned this man’s image and jerseys, cursed him out, had letters of defamation to LeBron’s character drafted by the owner of the team; Cleveland called James everything but a child of God. How could a man, a business man, a highly paid and now highly decorated business man go back to something like that?
I’ll tell you how. By being a boss!
1. Accepted An Apology
We as entrepreneurs take a lot of guff. Recently someone ran my name through the muck and mire. They apologized, but I still felt some type of way about working for them.
Now I don’t know what this means for James, AND we all know Cleveland’s apology (is there one on the record?) came with a lot of $$$. That surely makes it easier to accept.
However, my guess is, James is just a business man at heart. This was a mutually beneficial win for both sides. Putting on your big boy jersey in LeBron’s case made sense.
…I’ve got a client to call.
2. Increased His Brand
What led LeBron to leave Cleveland in the first place was that they weren’t building a team around him to get things done. This was really more of a compliment than anything else. The Cavs thought he could carry the whole team on his own. What LeBron went to Miami and proved is that he’s a movement by himself, but he’s a force when he’s got a crew.
There are supposed to be five members on the court at all times. Yes, there are teams that supposedly do it with one really great star and very little support, however, in this case James knew he needed people around him to make him better (cough-Kobe-cough-take a lesson-cough). I believe the management at the Cavaliers knew this, but, man-oh-man has LeBron proven his point.
If Cleveland really wants a championship they are going to have to bring some people to the yard to help ya boy LeBron out.
As an entrepreneur and just by nature of who I am, that lesson resonates. No matter how good you are, you need a team. I’m not talking just people to push around paperwork and get you coffee, but a highly functioning, intelligent group of people who compliment you and will help you get the job done. Check!
3. Knew His Long Game
Just this last weekend I relearned the game of chess. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d remembered. Nope. No strategy yet, but I do have this laser sense of what needs to be done to get my opponent to play better.
James did the same thing. I really think this was his plan all along. He’s going to say that in The Decision 2 – Electric Boogaloo! (I crack me up!)
He said he wanted to win a championship in his hometown, and what if that was always his angle? Cleveland has never built a championship team so they didn’t know what they were doing. (Sorry C-Town. I know…I know…but let’s be real here.) LeBron had to leave his beloved team behind and show them he knew what he needed to elevate his game and increase or solidify the Cavaliers as a championship level team.
Are we so busy chasing money or accolades that we forget to look at the long game for our businesses? If you’ve never been an entrepreneur you may not know how to build your team or really see how sacrifice (if you can call living in Miami, making fists full of money, and all that hardware on his fingers sacrifice) for the greater good.
Anyone else feel like we just watched the basketball version of Ocean’s Eleven? LeBron is so outta there with bags full of money and a smirk on his face a la George Clooney and his ten (because Clooney was eleven…get it?).
Lebron may not be an entrepreneur, but he is a business man; and this business man really is killing the game. I’m going to take these tips and I’m SURE the city of Dayton, Ohio, where I left to move to NYC to be a writer turned entrepreneur, will be begging me to come back. With several million reasons why I should change my mind, of course.