Watching the unfair calls on Lebron James during the second game of the final NBA playoffs helped when I received a scathing review of my first novel. A little anyway. We’ve been told that life isn’t fair since we were small tykes. But does it help when three flagrant fouls in front of the referee are ignored or you receive your first scorching review for the novel that cost everything to write? Not really.
The camera focused on James after each of the three poor calls; he was furious. And powerless. Within seconds, we could see him reign it in, regain control, accept the biased judgments of the Oakland referees and get back to playing, despite the absence of Kyrie Irving and the dismal projections of the talking heads. And win the game.
Whether I’m caught up in the NFL playoffs or in the NBA, I find instructive parallels between excellent athletes and my daily struggle to write better today than yesterday. Many of my friends claim that the reason James plays excellent basketball or Brady is an exceptional quarterback or that I am a good perhaps excellent writer (according to some reviewers, anyway) is due to our genes. Perhaps.
But that’s only part of the story, isn’t it? Watching Brady during ‘Deflategate’ and James last night after the third lousy call, there is something else that comes into play and excellence can’t be achieved without it. Due to the extensive media coverage of these men, we can sometimes see it caught on camera. The facial expression switches from anger to determination. We can almost read the words, “I am going to give this everything I have…and then just a little more.”
Following the surprising win by Cleveland, the sports interviewer asked James what this game had cost him. “Everything, it cost me everything.” In reply to her questions about the unfairness of the calls by the referees, James merely repeated what he had said about his team, the deep loyalty he felt for them and never discussed the referees.
There will be another opportunity for a new review and soon because I will give this next book everything I have…and then just a little bit more. Thanks for the great lesson, Lebron.