This message goes out as an open letter to young ultra-talented athletes everywhere: to Andrew Luck (QB Colts), RG3 (QB Redskins), Andy Dalton (QB/Bengals), Anthony Davis (power forward/Hornets), Bryce Harper (outfielder/Nationals), Matt Moore (pitcher/Tampa Rays), and especially to the quarterback of my favorite team, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. The message is this – “Championships are won by those who learn to win ugly. The commitment to ‘win pretty’ must die.“
The latest testament to this time tested adage is none other than Lebron James of the Miami Heat. Over the years, all the talking heads in the media have made much about Lebron James. They have lauded his talent, his style, his swagger, his personality, his speed, his power, his transition game, his ability to hit threes, his ability to pass, and his ability to throw down glorious dunks. Lebron James’ game was pretty. Smooth. Gracious. Big smiles. Big endorsements. And big money. Yet, in the big moments, over and over again, Lebron James failed to deliver. As a result, those same talking heads turned on him with all kinds of harsh critiques. “Lebron was selfish,” they would say. “Lebron was scared of losing, scared of winning, tight under pressure, unsure, nervous, distrustful of his teammates, an attention hog.” I have heard it all. And it all was bunk.
There was only one thing wrong with Lebron James’ game. Lebron was too pretty. Continue reading