BOSTON (CBS) – Like most observers not living in South Florida, it seems, I was pleased the other night to see LeBron James grab the goat’s horns as the Miami Heat super-team flopped in their first try at what was supposed to be the start of a string of NBA championships.
The amazingly poised, talented and gracious teenager I saw and interviewed when he first came out of high school has apparently turned into an immature, arrogant professional who can’t figure out what it takes to win.
Watching his meltdown was a graphic lesson in how true success and maturity can’t be measured by a paycheck or a bunch of hype, a good lesson to be reminded of.
But LeBron’s humiliation was just one in a rush of moments recently that have once again proven the value of sports as a window on our culture, highlighting our positives and exposing our flaws.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
I was appalled the other day to see the comments of Aaron Rome, the Vancouver Canucks defenseman who intentionally injured Nathan Horton with that now-infamous hit, accusing Horton of negligence for not looking in his direction.
Talk about blaming the victim.
I was reminded yet again of how desperately we need to see the simple act of taking responsibility for your actions returned to the basic definition of what it means to be an adult, or even a decent person.
It has been so much fun and such a communal bonding experience to watch the Bruins make their fantastic run through the playoffs.
Their persistence and courage and unity have been a model for how we also can pull together and accomplish great things.
But the news that Boston city and police officials preferred that the Garden not play host to a viewing party for Game Seven tonight out of legitimate concern over potential security problems speaks to an ongoing problem we need to address.
They allow tens of thousands of Vancouver fans to gather in the street in that city to watch game broadcasts, without apparent incident.
Are we really incapable of that same level of civilized behavior, and if so, why?
Yes, sports and the people who play them have plenty to teach us.
And I only ask the Bruins for one more lesson tonight – teach us what it means to be fans of the Stanley Cup champs.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.