5 Lessons LeBron James Taught Kids in His Return to Cleveland

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photo credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc

photo credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc

LeBron James came home.

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, LeBron went on a fantastic journey, but in the end he returned to his family. After a four-year hiatus from Cleveland, where he played seven years for the Cavaliers, LeBron James decided leaving for Miami and a couple of NBA titles wasn’t enough. He needed the comforts of Northeast Ohio.

Although many Clevelanders will forever hold a grudge for The Decision LeBron made in 2010, most were thrilled with James’ homecoming. Whether you love or hate LeBron, there is much to be learned from his return to Cleveland and to the Cavaliers, and these are excellent lessons for kids.

5 lessons LeBron taught kids when he came home

1 — The grass isn’t always greener: Ask students what they want to do when they grow up, and few will say they want to remain in their hometown. They are eager to leave for the greener pastures of another place, any other place. LeBron James left for sunshine, palm trees and NBA championships. “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now,” LeBron told SI.com. 

2 — Never hold grudges: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote a letter, calling LeBron James everything but a basketball player, and posted it on the Cavs website, when LeBron left Cleveland. James admittedly was hurt by his former, now current, boss’s words. Still, he forgave; this is lesson all kids, and many adults, need to learn.

3 — Loyalty is a fine quality: While James doesn’t throw the word around, when talking about his return to Cleveland, the words between his lines say he is loyal to Cleveland, Akron (where he lives) and all of Northeast Ohio. “Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get,” James wrote in his letter to SI.com. Like forgiveness, loyalty is a marvelous quality to have.

4 — Be true to your dreams: LeBron said he always knew he’d come back to Cleveland. It took four years, but he remained true to his dream.

5 — There’s no place like home: As mentioned in the first lesson, kids are always eager to leave the comforts of home. They go away to college and they take jobs in faraway places. Some never return, even to visit. LeBron visited often, when Miami played Cleveland and when he conducted fundraisers in Akron. For four long years, though, LeBron James was like a stranger passing in the night. In the long run, like Dorothy, he realized that there is no place like home.

Be sure to teach the lessons to your students.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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