The NBA Finals Inspired Me (And I’m Not Even Into Sports)

“It wasn’t until after the buzzer went off and I saw LeBron fall to the ground with his face smothered in tears that something happened to me.”

Last night, for some odd reason I decided to put on the NBA Finals as I finished preparing my Sunday dinner.

Although I was familiar with both teams, when I first put the game on, I wasn’t really rooting for one particular team.

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Now, I’m not going to lie. I did not watch the entire game. After watching a few Snapchat videos of my friends’ predictions, I put it on for about ten minutes before checking back in during the 4th quarter.

A part of me wanted the Warriors to win because of my admiration for Steph Curry. More specifically, I really respect how he is shifting the stereotype of the NBA player as a man who can be a loving husband and an active father in his children’s life. Not to mention, Ayesha Curry, who I believe to be a strong Black woman with morals and values, and who exudes elegance.

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However, a part of me wanted the Cleveland Cavaliers to win because of the love and passion that Cleveland fans have for their team. I know this firsthand, as my stepfather who was born and raised in Shaker Heights, a suburban area about 20 miles or so from Cleveland, has continuously shown devotion to his hometown.

For the last decade that I’ve known him, he has worn Cavs’ and Browns’ jerseys around his new residency with my mother in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania without a care in the world. And I must say, it takes bravery to sport any other team in the “Steelers nation.”

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But it wasn’t until after the buzzer went off and I saw LeBron James fall to the ground with his face smothered in tears that something happened to me.

For me, there was something powerful about watching his 6’8" figure kneel to the ground overwhelmed with joy.  

For me, there was something powerful about watching their Black coach, Tyronn Lue cover his face with a wine and gold jersey as he filled it with droplets of joy, satisfaction and triumph.

For me, there was something powerful about going on social media and seeing people who had once criticized LeBron, now give him the upmost honor and respect.

"I don't know why the man above gives me the hardest road, but ... the man above doesn’t put you in situations that you can't handle," Lebron told a reporter after the final buzzer.

"I just kept that same positive attitude. Instead of saying, 'Why me?' I said, 'This is what He wants me to do.' And Cleveland, this is for you."

LeBron is the result of hard work and dedication and I am so moved by his endurance while remaining on the path that GOD ordained for him.

And although I may not be able to dribble a basketball to save my life, I learned from him that if you never give up and continue to give your all day in and day out, you will succeed.

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