Slamadamonth, SLAM #120: LeBron James

lebron james

Originally published in SLAM 120

September, 2007. Kevin Garnett, gazing up, sees the future. He stands under banners, dreaming of Championships. Sixteen of them hang from the ceiling of the Celtics practice facility, each representing an NBA title. A history lesson in green and white representing a storied franchise. Auerbach. Cousy. Russell. Havlicek. Cowens. Bird. McHale. Garnett has yet to play a game as a Celtic, but he knows what all of this means. He always has. Looking at what was, he sees what will be.

You become part of that Celtics history by simply donning the green and white. But the colors of Larry Bird and Bill Russell are also the colors of Acie Earl and Joseph Forte. Success is magnified, but so is failure. Aware of that, the Celtics All-Star trio of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Garnett speak of winning meaning more than individual achievement. They understand. More importantly, they believe.

Then they go out and prove it, winning 66 games, running away with the League. Former Celtic greats with fistfuls of metal proclaim the current incarnation to be up to the task of lifting a 17th banner. If history has taught us anything, it is that teamwork will always overcome the powers and talents of a single individual.

Stupid history.

May, 2008. Kevin Garnett, gazing up again, sees the future.

Russ Bengtson