If legends such as Hakeem Olajuwon can become one of the world's best NBA Players, and Luol Deng an all-star, then imagine the potential that would exist if basketball was just as much a part of African culture as soccer is.
There are skeptics out there that think our struggles this season are a weird karmic repercussion after having four consecutive Finals appearances. That our injuries and adversities are in some ways what we oddly deserved. That is the biggest crock!
Since returning to Cleveland, LeBron James has shifted some of the landscape of the NBA. While the move to the Cavaliers created another contender in the Eastern Conference, the move hasn't only made an impact on the court.
It's not that the Cleveland Cavaliers aren't going to score points. No, the Cavs are 1-2 right now not because they aren't scoring, but because one of the league's youngest teams is getting shredded at the defensive end.
The Miami Heat organization has positioned itself to compete for any of the top four seeds in a wide-open Eastern Conference. They're deep in talent and have something to prove to the world -- they're still the Eastern Conference champs, four years running.
Far from becoming a more interesting city "just by existing", Miamians have actively taken responsibility for our own narrative and how the greater public, not to mention ourselves, perceive the magic city in totality.
On June 28, 2007, Greg Oden rose from his seat, gave his mom a kiss, shook hands with those around him, and made his way up to meet NBA Commissioner David Stern, who just announced that he was the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.
LeBron James disrespected Pat Riley worse than anyone ever and that ain't cool. This isn't Riley's naivety thinking LeBron would return. This isn't Riley miscalculating. This is straight up LeBron and his entourage's ego disrespecting Pat Riley in-his-face.
We need to get rid of this idea that African American men need to constantly show deference to avoid vilification. This idea is deeply connected to the expectations held of African Americans both in slavery and the Jim Crow South.
The decision of LeBron James to return to Cleveland to finish his NBA career and his eloquent rationale will elevate him to the pantheon of American heroes. This strikes a dramatic blow to the "money is everything" mentality that has permeated sports.
The nation has largely decided to paint Carmelo Anthony, an easy target already, as a villain because we've been unable to paint LeBron James as one.
This is and isn't about LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is about a man growing up and breaking free. To understand the magnitude of LeBron's decision, we need to examine the Decision.
There was shock and surprise as Twitter blew up around 12:30 p.m. EDT on Friday as LeBron James announced his much-awaited decision via Sports Illustrated "I'm Coming Home." I was not surprised at all. I totally understood. Where you grew up is part of your soul.
The big problem is that Lebron made choices in 2010 that ignited the anger on both sides. Those who worshipped him felt betrayed. Those who were jealous of him were proved to be right. Everyone got to hate him. And that felt good for a while.
We have come to believe that sports professionals are disconnected from real life, that they seek only short-term profits and, as mercenaries for hire, they will play wherever the money is best and the lights shine the brightest. Could it really be that some professional athletes have a heart as well?
This is not a conquering hero returning home. This is a conquering ego. But hey, it was fun while it lasted, ticket prices will go down, we can't win them all, and maybe, just maybe, the national media will stop referring to Miami as South Beach.