I'm a design thinker, a builder of digital things, and a firm believer in the power of sports.
NBA Player Presidential Candidates
With the presidential inauguration just around the corner, my friend AJ and I felt inspired to write articles with politics in mind. You can read his article here. There’s something about some good-hearted humor that helps take the mind off the stressful things in life, so let this distract you from those things. The only ground rules I made for myself include:
Must pick one player candidate from each conference
Must be a current player (no past players, or coaches)
Eastern Conference Candidate
LeBron James is the most effective leader in the entire NBA. His passion for the game shows in his desire to win, his force of communication, and helping his teammates succeed. If it wasn’t for his four-year stay in South Beach, those qualities may have never grown to fruition. Some people say that LeBron’s time in Miami was like his college years. He went there to learn things to help him succeed in his field of work, then he came back home to use those tools. It seems his hard work and dedication paid off.
If you’re a sports fan, you've heard about “The Decision” and his well-accepted return to the Cavaliers. But just think about how much of an impact this one person has on a city. I can only imagine the amount of tourism he brings to Cleveland, just because people want to watch him at work. When LeBron is home, business is booming. LeBron gave hope to the city of Cleveland. LeBron’s foundation focuses heavily on educating the youth, where he is personally involved in kids’ lives. He is outspoken on social issues. LeBron knows he is in the spotlight all the time, and he uses his platform to bring awareness to the issues that matter to him, and the community, the most. That type of effort off the court earned a lot of respect in a tough city.
LeBron simply leads by example on and off the court. A player can do great things when they apply the on-court lessons to real life, and LeBron is one of the best at it. In short, LeBron is not my Eastern Conference Presidential Candidate just because his nickname is “King James”—it’s his presidential characteristics that raise him up to that level.
Western Conference Candidate
Picking LeBron for my Eastern Conference Candidate was the easiest decision I've had to make in 2017 so far. In the West, it was a bit more difficult to find hard, fast evidence of presidential qualities in players. I think every player has a little in them, but none stood out more than James Harden.
The Houston Rockets made a big change by switching James Harden from Shooting Guard to Point Guard. That’s kind of like being promoted from Senator to President, right? Now he can run the game from the correct position, and it seems to be a good fit for him. He has four 40-point triple-doubles since New Year’s Eve, one of which he piled up 53 points! Anyway, the triple-double part is important, because it shows his unselfishness and trust in his teammates.
LeBron definitely gets more attention than James Harden, if not the most in the entire league. He is the biggest icon in the game right now. It seems Harden's good deeds get drowned out by all the other noise in the NBA because a quick look at his Twitter reveals that he is heavily involved in the community in many different ways. From what I gather, James Harden enjoys interacting with fans face-to-face. Whether he's promoting his next signature shoe or just plain volunteering, he would rather spend actual time with fans and those in need, rather than shout from a podium. James Harden seems like a genuinely cool guy. But I’ll just say this—if James Harden got elected President, his beard would bring in the popular vote.
Home of the Braves: Part One
A series on how "America's Team" became the team to forget.