Trudging with LeBron James

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
4:20
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
Archive
On Gothic Ginobili, Aaron McGuire writes something special about LeBron James.

McGuire had unusual college years -- circumstance, crisis and opportunity gave him the chance to take on huge adult responsibilities years before his peers.

He related, in that, to LeBron.

And they both suffered mightily, in very different ways. James had the burden of putting Ohio on his back, and then the bigger burden of taking it off. McGuire had multifaceted and pernicious health troubles born of an insane workload and too much responsibility.

He also had the pain of being a Cavaliers fan in 2010.

And things end like this:
I can't really hate LeBron James anymore. I doubt I'll ever like him again, or root for his success. But for me, the hate faded well before he won his title. And in truth, it didn't come back when he hoisted the trophy. I think I've figured out why. Before, I looked at his flight and saw a man fleeing the challenge I was stuck in. I saw a personal hero abandon my team and city and insult our capabilities. Now? I see a man who fled one challenge only to find one just as difficult elsewhere, a man who still couldn't quite escape his demons without a hell of a lot more work. We both reached our rock bottom, we both languished and toiled, and we've -- in some sense -- both arrived. We're at a better spot, now, both at a certain level of triumph with so much of the mountain left to climb. When he left Cleveland, I was in a ditch. A low gutter. But we meet now at an intermediate step in our development, a bit older and a bit wiser. We are, for this precious moment, at equal footing. Neither freezing, both warm. Not as friends, not as allies, not as enemies. Just as people, ever-striving. So we sit, relaxing in the interim. I will root against him, later, and he will forget I exist. But in this moment, we stop. Consider. We have a drink. We sup.

Because the summit beckons, we trudge forward. And we move on, as comfort affords the privilege.

Henry Abbott | email

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