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Leadership Lessons From LeBron James and Kevin Durant

If we are willing to look, we can find Leadership Lessons all around us. Since we are smack dab in the middle of the NBA Finals, I thought I’d share a couple of Leadership Lessons from the key Superstars in the 2012 NBA. (They just happen to be the 2 best players in the NBA) The Best in the East and 3-Time MVP LeBron James and The Best In The West and 3-Time Scoring Champ Kevin Durant.

Let’s jump right into these Leadership Lessons:

2 Leadership Lessons From LeBron James

  • 1. Be Slow To Speak – This actually means be slow to speak, react and do. Some of the LeBron’s most memorable moments have not actually been on the court but a combination of him “taking his talents to South Beach” media frenzy coupled with the “not 1, not 2, not 3… spirit fingers” referring to the number of championships they were going to win. Those number have yet to be achieved although they are on a crash course with the #Thunder trying to get number one. Those moments and memories have created leadership perception vs reality challenges for King James. Be slow to speak, slow to act and slow to react.
  • 2. Mature From Your Mistakes – One thing that’s evident about LeBron is the fact that he is growing and maturing as a Leader on and off the court. His post game interviews demonstrate maturity. He’s not over-reacting to the highs or lows of criticism, failure and success. LeBron is maturing through his earlier mistakes and what could be deemed as immaturity of a kid coming out of high school to the NBA whose skills actually lived up to the hype. Maturity is an on-going process, remain open to the process.

2 Leadership Lessons From Kevin Durant

  • 1. Don’t Let Others Dictate Your Level Of Success – Kevin Durant was actually picked as the 2nd pick overall in the 2007 NBA draft. The experts felt that Greg Oden was going to be a better player in the NBA… Portland how is that working out for you? Some of the criticism leading up to the draft was the fact that Durant couldn’t bench press very much weight. I love what TNT NBA Analyst Charles Barkley said about that during the Western Conference Finals; “For all of those people that were worrying about how much weight Kevin Durant can bench press… that’s just silly. He doesn’t need to bench press 100 pounds the basketball doesn’t weigh that much.” Don’t let what you supervisor, the naysayers, the experts… dictate your level of success.
  • 2. Don’t Play The Blame Game – Excuses and the blame game are major leadership pitfalls. So many leaders want to blame mistakes, failures and losses on everyone else instead of looking in the mirror. It’s much easier to throw someone under the bus than it is to accept the fact that you’re the bus driver. During the NBA Finals there have been lots of questionable calls and no-calls. It’s been talked about by the experts over and over and during game 2 of the finals the no-call foul that LeBron James committed on Kevin Durant potentially made an impact on the outcome of the game. Durant’s response in post game interviews were simply, “I missed the shot… period.” After Game 3, Durantuala responded to questions of the poor officiating by saying, “The officials are human, they are going to get some calls right and they are going to miss some calls… Bottom line is I need to get better. We need to learn from this and come out better the next game.” Don’t play the blame game, look in the mirror and take responsibility. Not only will it make you better but it will make those around you better.

Share your thoughts on these Leadership Lessons from LeBron James and Kevin Durant. What other leadership lessons have you seen from these two or other high profile athletes?

Why Ron Artest Will Be Suspended 10 Games For Elbow On James Harden

If you have yet to see the Ron Artest cheap shot elbow on a defenseless James Harden you can watch the video above. This video has several other links attached to it, one being some commentary from Stephen A. Smith and the other is Ron Artests post game interview. I appreciate Stephen A. Smith’s honesty and candor regarding this incident and how the league will probably respond.

I am going to start off by saying that I think Ron Artest should be suspended for at least 10 games. Why 10? Because I feel that the league should take a hard stance that it doesn’t tolerate vicious acts that could ruin someone’s career and potentially affect their life. Artest’s elbow cheap shot not a basketball move and Commissioner Stern must handle guys like Artest with a stern hand.

The NBA has such a great product and can’t tolerate thuggery from guys like Bynum & Artest. Bynum taking off his shirt and taking out JJ Barea and Artest clothes lining Barea last year, simply because Barea was lighting the Lakers up. This year’s version of the clothes line was Artest’s ferocious elbow to Harden’s head. I’m not sure that it’s a coincidence that Harden was one of the leading scorers in the game at the time of the incident.

This reminds me of back in the day in the sport of boxing when Tyson went from being one of the best boxers ever to settling for cheap shots and cheap bites. Just like there is no place for biting ears in boxing, there is no place for ridiculous cheap shots in Basketball, especially from a culprit that has a history of this type of negative behavior.

I know that Artest has come a long was and has made progress… so what; the NBA can’ set on the side aimlessly waiting for his next devastating move. If this was someone that had a history of domestic violence or any other kind of violence and they relapsed, we wouldn’t excuse it away by saying that “Ohh, but he’s done so good.”  This is professional Basketball where men get played millions to compete and entertain the fans.  It’s a great game and Artest must be handled with swift and decisive punishment for his actions.  We all must be held accountable for what we do.

There have been some great players suspended 10 games for violation of the NBA’s drug policy and I’m sorry, you can’t tell me that cheap shot elbow isn’t more detrimental to the league, players and game than violation of the NBA’s drug policy.

Ron Artest has become to basketball what Mike Tyson became to boxing and as much as I liked Iron Mike in his heyday, what he did to the sport of boxing was disgraceful and boxing has never recovered. I know some people may be thinking that what Artest did wasn’t that serious; however if that hit to Harden’s head would have connected just right and Harden had a career ending injury they would think otherwise. We still don’t know the extent of Harden’s injury.

I refuse to call someone Metta World Peace when his actions equate to Metta World Violence. Ron Artest should be suspended 10 games or more and if he has another incident like this, he should be suspended indefinitely.

Don’t get me started on Ron Artest’s post game interview claiming it was an accident. I served as a Prison Warden for many years and one thing I learned to appreciate from some of the mature self-aware inmates was their embracing of this old saying, “If you do the crime, you have to do the time.”

What do you think of the incident and do you think Ron Artest get a 10 game or more suspension? Share your thoughts!

 

Amazing Life Lesson From Derek Fisher Going To The Oklahoma City Thunder

The 5 Championship Ring NBA Veteran Point Guard Derek Fisher was traded to the Houston Rockets and worked a buyout and chose to play with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  As a Thunder fan that really excites me for the future and champion aspirations. Then Thunder will now have both Harden & Fisher who can both do some damage off of the bench.

Fisher chose to wear number 37, because as he simply states, “that’s my age.” The 16 year NBA veteran and President of the NBA Players Union has lots of life experience, knowledge and wisdom that is represented by that #37 Thunder Jersey that he now proudly wears.

Fisher’s classy persona fits well with the classy bunch of Oklahoma City Thunder players and the best fans in the NBA. In life we have lots of situations and experiences where we can learn some major life lessons if we are willing to open our eyes. I think there is major life lesson for everyone from Derek Fisher’s trade and acquisition.  Read through the life lesson in this statement that Fisher made yesterday:

“Like I stated earlier, I’m going to do my best right now to refrain from focusing too much, if at all, on what has transpired, what was said, what could have happened, what should have happened,” Fisher said. “I’m more focused on the positives of why I’m here. I’ll be able to address those things in due time…. Right now it’s about the Thunder and Oklahoma City.” ~Derek Fisher

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Stop focusing on what has transpired but rather what God has for you.

Check out this video below of Fisher’s 1st appearance in a Thunder Uniform (Standing Ovation)

 

Share your thoughts on this life lesson or your thoughts on the Derek Fisher trade and what it means for the OKC Thunder.

You Must Be Willing To Get Posterized

Posterized A slang term depicting a play in basketball. In said play, a player dunks the ball over top or in front of another player, making a play so picturesque that it may appear on a poster, hence the term, posterized.  (Blake Griffin makes a living out of posertizing NBA players.)

For those of you that follow sports you know that @blakegriffin is a freak of nature and is an ESPN top 10 highlight reel waiting to happen.  I happen to know Blake and his family, as they attended the LifeChurch.tv Campus that I pastored for many years. (casual name drop)

Blake has always had an amazing knack for the rim and ability to finish with a power dunk.  With the recent addition of one of the best point guards and floor generals in the game, Chris Paul, it’s power dunk to the nth degree.  So much so that the LA Clippers arena is nicknamed Lob City because of what Chris Paul combined with DeaAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin can do with the alley-oop.

Recently Blake Griffin did a monster dunk on OKC Thunder Big Man, my man Kendrick Perkins. The dunk has received over 3 million views and counting on YouTube.  You can check it out here.  I personally have seen way more powerful dunks by Blake Griffin than the Kendrick Perkins contested dunk.

The next game after the Big Posterization dunk on Kendrick Perkins, Blake Griffin and the Clippers faced the Utah Jazz.  Every time Blake got close to the rim, players were scurrying like a bunch of scared mice, because they didn’t want to get posterized.  It’s not only happening with Blake Griffin, but often times you will see players vacate the scene because they don’t want to get posterized.

In life or in basketball, if you want to be successful and you want to be a winner you must be willing to get posterized.  Don’t back down from a challenge, a promotion, taking a risk, facing an opponent or contesting one of the most prolific dunkers in the game.  Go after em’, give it what you got and be willing to get posterized.  Kendrick Perkins’ response to the posterization sums up what I’m trying to say, “It happens… At the end of the day, if you’re a shot blocker, you’re going to get dunked on.” At the end of the day if you give it all that you have in life, business, sports etc. you’re going to get dunked on.

The ones that will be successful in the end are the ones that are willing to take a risk, the ones that are willing to get posterized.  That poster is a symbol that you were willing to try and not run away like a scared coward.  I’d much rather have a guy like Kendrick Perkins on my team than these other guys who are running scared.  That timid business is just weak sauce…  no matter the task; give it all that you have.

Our 26th President Theodore Rooselvelt spoke about those that are not willing to get posterized,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Why is this generation a generation that is unwilling to get posterized?  Share your thoughts on this new generation of cold timid souls.

Kevin Durant Talks Controversy, Bulls Hat, Fans, Tattoos, Longhorns, OU & Love for OKC

In this video Kevin Durant discusses the mild controversy that stirred up when he made comments about wanting OU to loose.  I really think it’s no controversy at all, KD went to the University OF Texas and OU is their arch rival… No controversy, just rivalry.

KD also outlines the significance of all of his recent tattoos and the concerns people had about him sporting a Chicago Bulls hat.  All of the stuff is really a lot to do about nothing. It’s cool to see him taking the time to at least address these concerns.  As an OU Fan, Thunder Fan, City Of Oklahoma City Fan and Kevin Durant Fan — I’m proud to have KD represent the City Of Oklahoma City.  He’s a great ambassador from the perspective of a professional athlete.

Although I’m a KD fan, I’ll be rooting for his Longhorns to take a big fat “L” next week in the Red River Shootout.  The only good thing that has ever come from Texas is KD.  Boomer Sooner!

KD is a great guy on and off of the court, below is a picture that he was kind enough to take with my boys at a Thunder Game.  I actually led the invocation for the game that same night.  Great Memories!

Share your thoughts on professional players sporting hats or gear of other teams, or playing professionally in a city that’s tied to their college rivalry. How should they handle these situations?


OKC Thunder Fans Celebrate Victory


 

Yesterday I had to listen to 3/4 of the #OKC Thunder Game on the radio, as my boys had a track meet in Norman.  On the way home my boys asked if we could stop by the #OKC Arena and hang-out in Thunder alley for the last Quarter, so that’s what we did.

This video just catches a little bit of the atmosphere and post game celebration.  I told everyone months ago through Twitter and this blog that the #OKC Thunder were going to win the NBA Championship.  Many thought that I was crazy, well it looks like we are one step closer.

Let’s Go, Thunder Up!

After the Bulls kicked off the Eastern Conference Championship with a win last night, who do you have in the NBA Finals and who do you have winning the whole thing?

I have Thunder vs. Bulls and Thunder winning the Championship.

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