LeBron James had the Cavaliers watch Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address for inspiration

“It was late, but apparently not too late,” Ramona Shelburne reports for ESPN. “The Cleveland Cavaliers had lost the first two games of the NBA Finals by a combined 48 points. The Golden State Warriors were dominating every phase of the game. And LeBron James was looking for something, for anything, he could say to his teammates to help them believe a comeback was possible.”

“LeBron had spent the weekend watching old Muhammad Ali fights, in awe at the champ’s perseverance. His longtime friend and adviser, Nike executive Lynn Merritt, had suggested he study the way Ali carried himself in those epic 12- and 15-round fights. The way Ali took punches, knowing his opponent would eventually tire,” Shelburne reports. “The way he taunted opponents, flaunting his superior skill and talents, knowing he would get into their heads. His teammates needed something else, though. Something they could connect to that would make them believe this series was not over. And so LeBron gathered everyone in the Cavaliers locker room before Game 3 and played a portion of Steve Jobs’ commencement address to Stanford University in 2005.”

Stephen Curry (left) and Apple Sr. VP Eddy Cue
Stephen Curry (left) and Apple Sr. VP Eddy Cue
Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years late… You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. — Steve Jobs Stanford commencement address

“The guy Jefferson was taking minutes from, Kevin Love, had been ruled out for Game 3 with a concussion. Love had started reading about Jobs on his own a few weeks earlier,” Shelburne reports. “One phrase stuck with him: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” Love started writing it on his shoes as a way to remind himself to loosen up — to not judge his performances on the statistics he was recording (which weren’t even close to his career numbers), but rather by the effort and energy he gave for tasks like rebounding and defense. ‘I had just ordered a shirt from a company in Akron with that Jobs quote,’ Love said. ‘And then [LeBron] played that [speech] like two days later. I came up to him and was like, ‘It’s so crazy you played that with all the chaos that was going on with our team, being hungry, but being down in the series.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s gotta be like pouring a 55-gallon drum of salted vinegar on Eddy’s open wound.

One major drawback of the Golden State Warriors making the NBA finals – May 31, 2016
Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address ‘a remarkable event’ – June 23, 2005
Full text of Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address available – June 15, 2005


      1. See, people that support Trump are all portrayed as haters, yet the mere sight of his name brings out the lunatics with their insane babbling:
        “It’s like a tramp stamp except for idiots. I love me a a racist, demagogue wannabe.”

    1. ill-advised 3-point shooting, stupid fouls and other problems, but hubris? nope. If anything they were overly cautious and reluctant to make any decisive statements about winning the championship. Lack of killer instinct that the Cavs posessed.

  1. How ironic. The Cavs beat the team from the Silicon Valley using a speech from an icon on the Valley.

    I bet Golden State was watching Microsoft speeches for inspiration.

  2. New England Patriots rolled into the Super Bowl undefeated, ready to embrace destiny. You know how that went. Same with the Warriors. So close, yet not close enough…perhaps not hungry enough. One thing was obvious though…Stephan Curry played hurt in that series and it significantly affected his offensive output.

    1. By the same token, both Kevin Love AND Kyrie Irving AND two key bench players were hurt for Golden State last year. Also, LeBron James suffered a series of injuries (back and arm) while carrying terrible Cleveland teams early in his career that will never fully heal until he stops playing basketball, and even then they may not. That is why LeBron generally dogs it through most of the regular season and then begins to amp it up in the last 20 games or so to prepare for the playoff run. If LeBron hadn’t sacrificed his body his early years in the NBA – and remember he entered the NBA straight out of high school before his bones and muscles were fully developed – to carry those bad Cleveland teams, who knows what stats he would put up now.

      Do not get me wrong: I am a 100% Steph Curry fan, and even rooted for Steph Curry’s dad! (wow am I old) and despise LeBron James (though for different reasons than most LeBron haters have) but the truth is that if LeBron had played for a better team early in his career OR if Cleveland had Irving in last year’s finals, this Steph-LeBron debate would not exist at all.

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