This summer, in Cleveland, Ohio, has been officially decreed as the Summer of LeBron. Ever since the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated from the playoffs, the questions about whether or not LeBron James would return to the team or opt for free agency have intensified to a near fever pitch. All of the attention that LeBron gets is because he is a bonafide hometown superstar, born and raised in Akron, Ohio, just a half-hour from Cleveland. Every move, gesture, and comment that he has made has been scrutinized and over-analyzed, and it will continue in this way until he becomes a free agent on July 1. The Summer of LeBron is in full swing.
Now that free agency is weeks away, and with rumors swirling everywhere about a new coach and a general manager for the Cavs along with where LeBron will wind up, it should be pointed out that this type of media and fan attention is exactly what LeBron and the NBA wanted. With the number of free agents this year, all of the talk for basketball fans, both young and old, has been all about who is going to play for what team. At times like this, sometimes the anticipation of a big event is greater than the event itself. We’ll soon see if that’s the case.
All of this attention makes way for a golden opportunity. For once, I would like to see such a media frenzy be capped off with a tremendous announcement that would be refreshing for everyone to hear as well as reassuring. If LeBron James wants to stay in Cleveland and play with the Cavaliers, he could announce that he is committed to Cleveland with a long-term deal, and also make a grand declaration that, along with this commitment, that he is even more committed to his longtime girlfriend and high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson, by proposing to her in marriage.
What a wonderful announcement, and testimony, that it would be for LeBron fans and fans of doing the right thing! LeBron can tell the world that he wants to win a ring for Cleveland and put a ring on Savannah’s finger! Awesome! Amazing! When their two (maybe three) children grow older, there will be less of a need to explain their relationship with Mom and Dad James joined in holy matrimony. Common law marriage is a shadow of the real thing.
This is all wishful and prayerful thinking, of course. I wish it would be more than just a dream. While I am a huge sports fan, I’m an even bigger fan of marriage and success stories of families growing together. It is little wonder that successful families are characterized with happy marriages and strong family support. God ordained marriage for the purpose of joining a man and woman together (Genesis 2:18-25) and to create a family (Genesis 1:28). The family grows and develops as a husband and wife grow in their love relationship, and they share that same love as they teach and instruct their children. A family that recognizes God’s love for them is united in service for Him (Joshua 24:15). Families that are fractured with divorce or broken relationships can still experience success, but odds are that they will have a tougher road than those families unified in marriage.
For all it’s worth, the Summer of LeBron is only an event for the moment. His life, with all of his talent and God-given ability, is much more than where he decides to play for a championship. I would be happy to see the day when he is more than “King James.” I’ll be most satisfied to call him a father—and a husband.