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Amid uncertainty and upheaval, LeBron shows us what an American should be | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The Guardian

Watching LeBron motivate his teammates beyond their limits makes him the best on the court, but it’s his commitment to the disillusioned and disenfranchised that truly sets him apart

Winning an NBA championship is nothing new for the Los Angeles Lakers. They have been in the finals a record 31 times since winning the title on their first trip in 1950, and they tied the Boston Celtics with 17 championships after seeing off the Miami Heat on Sunday night. But those are just statistics for superfans to rattle off over steaming pizza or a trivia question on a soggy napkin in a sports bar. Championship playoffs are much more than naked numbers – each has its own unique personality, its own significance to the players and fans, and its own impact on American culture. The game is never “just a game”. For those who think sports are merely mindless entertainment somehow separate from the Sturm und Drang of the world around, you haven’t been paying attention lately. Sports have always been a mirror of national values reflecting all the same struggles and turmoil. This year’s championship series is especially meaningful because, although it took place during one of the most politically and socially chaotic and world-bending times in recent history, in many ways, it was an expression of the finest qualities of America – both on and off the court.

Related: LA Lakers steamroll Miami Heat to capture record-tying 17th NBA title

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January 18th 2021, 4:24 am
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