VIEW FROM THE OUTFIELD: Heart of a father

When the Los Angeles Lakers announced it picked Bronny James as its second round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, it felt like the world erupted with mad reactions.

Basketball fans from all over the planet exploded with their opinion mostly bordering on ridicule on the controversial drafting of Lakers superstar Lebron James’ son to join him in tinseltown on his 22nd season to complete the first ever father-son tandem on the court.

Cries like nepotism, LBJ’s control of the Lakers, Bronny’s questionable talent and deprivation of other aspirants viewed more talented than the 19-year old son of the King reverberated on social media.

From a regular basketball brain, that was understandable.

That is why a microscope has different lenses. There’s a low power objective and a high power objective. I chose to view from both.

Look, this is also like falling in love. They say you either fall in love with your mind or you fall in love with your heart.

The basketball mind tells us this is wrong, ridiculous and selfish. The basketball heart tells otherwise.

A bit of history here.

On Sept. 14, 1990, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. made history when they became the first father-son duo to hit back-to-back home runs in a game against the California Angels in Major League Baseball.

Let’s not go too far with the second.

Long before Lebron James thought of playing along with his son. There was a father in the Philippines named Robert “Sonny” Jaworski. In 1997, The Big J and his son Dodot, the first father-son tandem in all of professional basketball, won the 1997 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playing as the Gordon’s Gin Boars.

What does these stories tell us?

The Griffeys act was good for baseball and Seattle from a business perspective and from a fan’s perspective. It energized Seattle to the point of sleepless. It marked an era in Major League Baseball marked where families can dream.

The Jaworskis meantime started like a Lebron James story. When Dodot was drafted, it raised everyone’s eyebrows so high that Araneta Coliseum would almost lose its roof. You can hear boos on the stands when Dodot goes on the floor while his father mentored from the sidelines as a playing coach.

Little was seen what was running on the mind of The Big J when he had his son on the team and although it remains a mystery he never played on the same floor with Dodot, still it was enough that they won a championship together.

To a father, it meant the world. And it meant doing everything to achieve what people thought would not happen.

There is nothing stronger than a father’s dreams for his son. What a father wants for his son is hard to stop.

Is that selfish? If you look at the microscope with one lens, it is. But there is another lens to view it from. If you are in love with basketball and using your genius mind, you would not appreciate this. But if you love basketball with your heart, you are bound to see basketball where dreams are driven by love and motivation, not just skills.

I am a father and I have sons. And if you are a father, you know how your dreams fly and the motivation to practically kill yourself and give your son the best that he can ever have. Lebron James is just being a father and a dreamer. At this point in his career, what else can motivate him than having his son as a teammate and trying to put his name as well on the championship banner.

Lebron James with Bronny on the same bench would fire him up more than he has AD. The motivation of a title is even more burning now that history is just close at hand for the first ever father-son championship.

How good is that with the Lakers? Rob Pelinka understands the power of motivation. He understands the power of love.

How good is that with the NBA? In a draft that was not so deep with talents, Bronny turned a boring day into a much-anticipated event.

So don’t kill yourself cursing Bronny and Lebron. Fatherhood is such a mysterious job.

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