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.
After the way they've acted in recent years, LeBron James might want to take a pass on coming back to Cleveland. However, it seems that LeBron has shown more maturity than the people who cursed his name four years ago.
Let's put this into perspective with one sentence...
I don't know where James will play next season, but his current free agency offers an opportunity to make some amends to Cleveland fans, even if he decides to play elsewhere.
It was an NBA career with 977 games played and two championships won. Yet, beyond the games and accolades, perhaps the biggest mark newly retired NBA player, Shane Battier, made during his career was off of the court.
There are several factors aside from money and basketball, primarily related to his marketability, which will weigh heavy on James and his agent's minds in coming days and weeks.
It's almost comical to think back to the first season of the Heat's Big Three and remember that there was a serious power struggle between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Fans everywhere were legitimately unsure of who was truly the better player and who should be the alpha dog.
So the World Cup is on and in North America the sports calendar is clear. The next three weeks will no doubt produce many great matches, wonderful play, and a few surprises, and the world will be enthralled by the action.
The moment everybody was waiting for was here. It was the rematch. Miami vs. San Antonio. The older and wiser San Antonio Spurs were up against the hu...
When both teams are at their best, the Spurs motion O is a perfect foil to the Heat's trappy D: San Antonio flows quickly from one action into the next, each player cutting constantly as the ball whips around, in search of the open man.
The one guy for the Spurs who can change this series is Kawhi Leonard -- nobody else on the roster can defend LeBron James that well. But what Leonard did in Game 3 was not only bother James (22 points and seven turnovers) as well as force him to use screens for offense, but also completely take over the game offensively. Leonard -- who, ironically, hails from Los Angeles and went unrecruited by the LA schools before going to San Diego State -- scored a career-high 29 points on 10-13 shooting.
The Heat ask Bosh to fill a near-impossible role: to play like a Nowitzki-Aldridge hybrid, but without the post-touches that help those guys get into an offensive rhythm.
Summoning the strength to play in unplayable conditions, the Spurs outlasted then blasted the Heat late, beating them by a final score of 110 to 95.
It took less than a full quarter of the first game of the NBA Finals to see how the rest of the series between Miami and San Antonio will go: Coach Gregg Popovich wants his team to control the pace of play at all costs.
Like the city of San Antonio itself, the Spurs were built by immigrants one brick at a time and meant to last. As America itself changes, I can't help but wonder if, in these Finals, we're getting a juxtaposition of the old America with the new.