Today I Could Have Met LeBron James

by Kenny Eller on November 18, 2010

This morning I could have been on my way to Miami.

I could have been on my way to meet and have lunch with one of the biggest stars in today’s NBA.

This morning I could have been on my way to meet LeBron James.

The Opportunity

Last Wednesday evening, almost as soon as I got done playing basketball and jumped in my car, I received a text message from a close friend.

He had forwarded me a message that he had just received from the Centurion Club of American Express. You know the ultra exclusive AMEX black card that everyone says YES to. The card that you can’t apply for, instead AMEX finds you.

Here is what it said:

“Centurion members are exclusively invited to learn from two-time NBA MVP, LeBron James, alongside his hand-chosen coach, as they put you to the test during an on-court skills session. This unprecedented basketball experience will be hosted at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Miami, featuring a state of the art basketball court. Following the on-court skills session, enjoy a private lunch with LeBron James, where he will host a Q&A.

Go home with an autographed item and a photo with LeBron!

Limited Availability.

$2500 per person.

Date: 11/18/10.”

The Decision (minus ESPN and Jim Grey)

Sorry, couldn’t resist. :-)

After a couple hours of back and forth discussion with my entrepreneurial friend, a guy who’s middle name could easily be success, I decided not to do it.

I decided to pass on meeting LeBron.

It wasn’t an easy decision for me though.

Initial Thoughts

Initially, I let the dollar amount of $2,500 make my decision for me.

I had just come back from a week at Impact Basketball training and hadn’t planned on really spending anymore money, anytime soon.

The thought of dropping $2,500 to meet a guy and get a picture seemed crazy!

It frustrated me that my first concern was the money!   Even though it’s quite a normal thought process for the majority of people, especially in these economic times.

On top of that, I had little time to think about it.  The event would be just one week later and spots were extremely limited and going fast!

I slapped myself with, who has ever been great without some sort of risk!  Who has ever accomplished great things without making decisions that are a bit uncomfortable!  It’s Not Going To Be Easy, Nor Should It Be!!!!

Plus, it was Lebron!

OK! Yes, Let’s Do It!

After weighing the opportunity quite a bit, I ended the call with my friend and made the walk from my office to the living room.  I had to discuss this with my wife.  I went in thinking, she is going to think I’m loosing it.

We do OK for ourselves financially, and feel very blessed, but we are in no way even within shouting range of having AMEX look for us, if you know what I mean.

So to spend another $2,500 that wasn’t budgeted for, with holidays fast approaching, just isn’t something we would typically ever do.

However at this point, I was thinking about the exposure meeting LeBron could bring to me vs. MJ.  I was thinking this is too convenient, being a 3.5 to 4 hour drive to Miami, to pass up on.  I was thinking that maybe LeBron, if he liked me, could make a call to Mike on the spot and set it up.  I was dreaming big time! :-)

My wife sensed that I wanted to do it and gave her blessing.

Why I’m Working Today Instead of Having Lunch with LeBron James

The more I thought about it, I just couldn’t see LeBron doing much with a group of wealthy guys.  Would he really risk injury with, to put it nicely, a group of people past their athletic primes?

Logically, I also thought that it couldn’t be all that involved if we were going to be having lunch after, so I made the final decision to pass on the opportunity.

Almost simultaneously to my decision, I received a text from the friend who forwarded the opportunity and another buddy of mine, concurring that maybe now wasn’t the right time.

Did I Make The Right Decision?

I woke up yesterday morning second guessing my decision.  I was afraid I had made a mistake in passing on such a unique opportunity.

Last night I made a call to the Centurion Club, just to check availability.

The just 20 spots, were no longer available.

No Regret

Life is too short to live with regret, especially when it comes to basketball.

I admit, the “what ifs” have been attacking me the last two days, but I’ll stick by my decision and who knows, maybe another opportunity will come a knockin’ at a later time.

Why Tough Decisions Are Good

Life is filled with decisions and paths that don’t always have an arrow pointing, telling you which way to go.

If I were a wealthier individual, there is no doubt I would have gone to see LeBron.  I would also probably not have left Impact Basketball and still been training there.  I would have already sent in my Jordan Camp money.

Everything would be too easy.

There would be no reason to even have me vs. MJ, because there would be no struggle.  There would be no true journey.

Instead, I, like many was forced to consider things.  I had to really think about it.  I had to weight it for all the good and the bad.

I had to make a tough decision.

Thinking has never been a bad thing though, right?  It helps each person grow.  It helps each person truly put a value on what it is they want to do.

I chose to spend those funds on future training with Impact.  I chose to spend those funds on making me better.

me vs. MJ.  I hope you’re getting ready for me Mr. Jordan! 😀

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sunil November 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Anyone with $2500 and a black Amex card could have done this (meet LeBron). Stay true to your passion. I think you should pay for great opportunities with hard work and passion as your currency, nothing else. You did the right thing.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Well said! Thanks Sunil! I appreciate the support!!!


Shane Turk November 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I respect your decision Kenny. I think MJ will too:-) Great post man!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Thanks Shane!


Jim Kerkvliet November 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm

There are many lessons to be learned from this post Kenny. For those who allow themselves to surrender to the One who will give guidance in situations when asked, I will just add some references to go along with some of the things that you wrote –

James 1:3-5
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. …

Kenny wrote – “Instead, I, like many was forced to consider things. I had to really think about it. I had to weight it for all the good and the bad.

I had to make a tough decision.

Thinking has never been a bad thing though, right? It helps each person grow. It helps each person truly put a value on what it is they want to do.”

Your decisions were regarding making a choice to see Lebron “James”. I am making references to your decision making from another “James”. And, these comments to your post are brought to you by “James”.

I know, too much play on words. I will end my comments now. Great post.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Thanks Jim! Love the scripture! 😀


Kellie Kowalski November 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

When one door closes, another one opens. Another session with Impact is likely going to be worth more than a super pricey lunch. :)


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Very true Kellie on both accounts! Thanks so much!!! 😀


yvon November 21, 2010 at 6:54 am

Hi Kenny,

I think you did right thing.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 21, 2010 at 7:56 am

Hi Yvon! Thanks! I appreciate it!


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