Professional athlete role models are nice. Parental and behavioral role models are much more important. Luckily for America, LeBron James is both.
The latest chapter in the saga of King James showcased the Lakers star coaching up his youngest son moments after a youth basketball game in Southern California. It has always been clear that he is an involved basketball father for both his sons, and in his most recent episode he is caught on camera supporting Bryce after a tough shooting night. You can see how it all played out below.
More than one online onlooker has claimed that the entire moment was scripted, with the interplay between LeBron and son too good to be an off the cuff, randomly captured incident. They may have a point. After all, when was the last time you brought a camera crew to record what you saw after your child’s event?
Yet that ignores the larger point captured in the video. In a real sense, it doesn’t matter whether the coaching moment was genuinely off the cuff or manufactured. All that matters is the sentiment that LeBron very acutely addressed with his son: It didn’t matter that he missed big shots. What matters is that he played the right way and helped lead his team to victory.
And the way in which LeBron achieved his aim, pushing a universally positive message and encouraging his son rather than re-hashing what he may have done wrong.
That’s precisely the right messaging to send to young athletes and coaches across the country, no matter the circumstances.
So, go ahead and be cynical about LeBron’s goals in recording his personal affirmation session with his son on the court. Cynicism can’t eliminate the positive messaging contained therein, which is worth a lot more.