Sports teaches us many lessons about life, yet it is only a microcosm of what we ordinary people have to endure in our lives.
What comes to mind as I write this article is the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 4th game of the NBA World Championship of 2017 that took place only a few weeks ago.
The finals were not looking good for the Cavaliers. Not good at all. They were down zero to three games to the Golden State Warriors and it looked as if they were might as well throw in the towel.
With the deck stacked against them, no one would blame them for going into game 4 with only a half-hearted effort. Their chances of winning the championship were just about nil. I myself didn’t think the game was even worth watching. I compared them to sheep awaiting the slaughter.
But then magic happened.
Instead of entering the game with fear and trepidation, they approached with strength and determination.
“We have championship DNA,” Lebron James, the Cavaliers’ star player and acknowledged leader of the team, was quoted.
Indeed they did. The Cavaliers set the Finals record for points scored in the first quarter (49) and the first half (86). James broke the record set by Magic Johnson by achieving his ninth triple-double. For the entire game, the three best players, James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, scored a combined 94 points.
It was a magical, meaningful moment. Despite the 0-3 deficit against the Warriors, the Cavaliers played like champions and won 137-116 in game 4.
However, their good fortune would not last. In game 5, playing in Golden State, the Warriors defeated them 129-120 for the 2017 NBA Championship.
Giving up is easy. Persistence is not. Despite all the hurdles placed before them, win or lose, they fought a good fight.
Then again, most of us are not the Cleveland Cavaliers. We don’t make millions of dollars a year. We don’t rise to the level of playing for the National Basketball Association or any other top tier organization. We face more hardships than they do on an everyday basis such as paying our bills on time and hoping there’s enough left over to enjoy life. Despite our will and hard work, we seem to only make progress in much smaller increments and no matter how much we dream, work, and plan, we keep coming up short and disappointed.
Our will to forge ahead actually shows more strength and determination than earning millions as a world-class basketball player because we carry on despite the lack of reaching those career heights and the lucrative salary that would allow us to live out our dream life.
Lebron and the Cavaliers are not the only ones with championship DNA. We the ordinary people who get used to having our hearts broken every day and feeling we are falling further and further down the abyss are the true champions while we wait for some magic to happen in our own lives.