Last night the Miami Heat defeated the Brooklyn Nets in five games, to head to the Eastern Conference Finals in the NBA. And this morning I saw the clip from the post game interview of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Of course, they spoke about the game and the things they did in huge game. But, I was interested in some comments they made when asked about Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Garnett and Pierce have been D. Wade’s and LeBron’s staunch rivals for years. From their days with the Boston Celtics to their time now with the Nets, Garnett and Pierce have been obstacles to LeBron with the Cleveland Cavaliers and both LeBron and Wade with the Miami Heat. Garnett and Pierce have been a force to be reckoned with. In the early years, LeBron just couldn’t beat them. And, eventhough he’s beaten them several times in there NBA playoffs now, they still have been very tough competition.
So when reporters asked LeBron and Wade about their relationship with Garnett and Pierce, I was intrigued by what they had to say. And, in hearing what they said I started thinking about relationships. Here’s a clip of what they said about Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce:
In my forthcoming relationship book, Championship Love, I use sports and scripture to layout an alternative model for relationships that will end the games that are currently played. So, I had to see what this moment in sports meant for my model. I got to thinking: what do LeBron’s and Wade’s statements about Garnett and Pierce say about how we should act in relationships?
Here’s what they said in brief: their nemeses…their arch rivals…the irritants that presented an obstacle to overcome were the things that made them the team that they are. So here’s where I’m about to go over the deep end.
Can it be that the things that cause you the most difficulty in your relationships are the very things that will shape you and make you great?
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I mean: one would think that LeBron and Wade would want to burry Garnett and Pierce. You’d think they wouldn’t want to face those guy because they’re always such difficult competition. But when you are a competitor and you’ve found the right teammate, you want to win by facing the best. The toughest competitors want to face the toughest competition. They almost feel cheated if the make it to the championship by beating a team without their best player.
But in relationships, don’t we look for the easy road to the championship? Don’t we always wish that our opponent’s strongest player is sick? We don’t want to face the enemy’s best! But the enemy at his best, draws out the best in us – if we are a championship caliber team.
So in a sense, we want to face our vices and defeat them. If we’re observant, we notice that the same thing pops up in our relationships over and over. We say: “why do I always have to deal with _______?!” We wish things would get easier. I, myself, wish things weren’t always so difficult. But, what if these obstacles are the very thing that will make us ready for the championship? What if, like LeBron and D. Wade, these obstacles make us mentally tough and ready to compete at the highest levels? Are we running from our blessings?
Are you and your mate a championship caliber team? Do you both possess championship DNA? Or are you a team seeking the easy route to the winner’s circle?
What character issues or social realities are your Garnett and Pierce? Are you looking forward to facing them? Or are you hoping someone else will defeat them so you can have an easier time? I’d love to know your thoughts…