In the moments following the Miami Heat‘s game seven NBA Finals victory over the San Antonio Spurs, Heat forward LeBron James was awarded the NBA Finals MVP Trophy for the second consecutive year. His acceptance speech, while short, was quite interesting.
James started the speech off by saying “I’m LeBron James, from Akron, Ohio, from the inner city. I’m not even supposed to be here.”
It shouldn’t be that difficult to see the possible slap in the face to the people of the Akron, Ohio. In the above quote, James apparently say’s that people from Akron, primarily the inner city, are destined for failure and will likely never make it out of the inner city and make something of themselves.
For those that may not know the history behind LeBron James, he did grow up in the inner-city of Akron, Ohio. He became a high school basketball star and was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers first overall in 2003. That was his ticket out of the inner-city of Akron.
But in his award acceptance speech, James almost points to the notion that sports was his only way out of the inner-city. If it weren’t for sports, might he still be there? What does that mean about the other citizens of Akron, Ohio? Does this mean that they are stuck there without any future?
He continued his speech by saying “Every night I walk into the locker and see a number six with ‘James’ on the back. I’m blessed. So, whatever everybody says about me off the court don’t matter. I ain’t got no worries.”
James could have taken that opportunity to thank his teammates, the city of Miami or even Heat team president Pat Riley for bring such a fantastic team together. Instead, James focused all the attention on himself and, honestly, turned himself into a real “me” guy. While it is okay to be confident, James has come off cocky and somewhat arrogant in his post-game interview with ESPN’s Doris Burke.
While James should be commended for another strong performance on the court, his persona in this interview comes across just as childish as in years past. If he wanted to mention the city of Akron, he could have said that is was where it all got started.
Instead, he used Akron to show how hard life had been for him before the NBA came along and, in a sense, slapped the face of the whole city.