Brian Windhorst and “The Man in the Arena”

The NBA Finals are rolling along. Well, the Golden State Warriors are rolling along, and over, the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a much closer Game 3 – a Warriors comeback win – quotes from the idiotic portion of the gallery flooded the interwebs:

“MICHAEL JORDAN would never be down 3-0 in a series!”

“LeBron isn’t CLUTCH! MICHAEL was clutch!”

Even notable ESPN talking head, Stephen A. Smith got pulled into that tidal wave: “You can’t be call ‘G.O.A.T.’ if you get swept in the Finals twice.”

During the post-game press conference, LeBron gave some pretty interesting answers to reporters’ questions. ESPN sports writer Brian Windhorst wrote a really good piece, analyzing LeBron’s press conference:

Brian Windhorst article

Included in that Windhorst piece is the factoid that LeBron James has, in his locker, an excerpt from a speech from Teddy Roosevelt, called “The Man in the Arena”. I hadn’t heard of the original speech nor the excerpt, but after reading the excerpt, I have found a Personal Favorite quote. Here is the excerpt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

It is very easy to sit online and criticize a sports athlete (I’ve done and will probably do it again), a politician, or even a friend. It is also kinda sad/funny-in-a-not-good-way/pathetic to do this, just because that athlete is approaching – or equal to – the milestones that your favorite athlete set.

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