Basketball, Small Law Firms

The Practice: Something LeBron Said

Yep, born and raised right here in Miami, Florida. I know, you hate me more now. Shucks. When I was a kid though, the only people who took their talents to South Beach were drug dealers, prostitutes, and movie producers depicting the place through the eyes of Tony Montana.

And now we are NBA Champions. We deserve it. We’ve waited a whole six years for this.

And you hate us. We love it, watching all of you whine and moan about how much you hate the Heat, hate Lebron, how Miami “bought” their championship. Yep, we bought it – cost a fortune too, you petty jealous nothings. We are the best, we are having a parade, probably right at the moment you sit in your miserable office, or Starbucks, and read this.

No surprise that I am a big fan of divisive people. I love watching the hate, the squirming when these people are successful, the “yeah, but…” commentary. I love watching losers nip at the feet of winners.

Lawyers love to do this…

Find an article about a successful lawyer, watch the comments from other lawyers (they’re the ones using the stage name “Anonymous.”) Lawyer wins a case, you of course could have won the same case. Lawyer gets a big settlement, he probably has an unhappy home life. This mentality isn’t limited to lawyers, but lawyers do love to rationalize their own lack of success by attacking the success of other lawyers.

And so you all hate Lebron. I have news for you, while he and the Heat were celebrating with the trophy Thursday night (with a $150,000 bar tab I hear), he wasn’t thinking about miserable you are and how much you don’t like him. As Bruce Jenkins wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle: As the celebration unfolded in Miami, LeBron James reveled in the NBA championship that eluded him for so long. He wore smiles of youthful exuberance and knew, in his heart, that his critics had run out of ammunition.

I like to do things differently. I like to watch successful people and try and learn something from them. I know, it’s odd. I probably should sit around with the losers and wonder along why failure and mediocrity is conspiring against so many lawyers.

But I don’t.

I watch successful people, I talk to them, I ask questions. I listen. You like to curse the darkness, it makes you feel better to be critical of success than to try and mirror it.

In all the celebration, in all the excitement and anxiety in watching the NBA Finals, there was one moment when I caught a glimpse of the essence of true success. It was during the post-game 5 interview, where LeBron said this:

“I’m happy now that eight years later, nine years later since I’ve been drafted, that I can finally say that I’m a champion, and I did it the right way,” James said. “I didn’t shortcut anything. You know, I put a lot of hard work and dedication in it, and hard work pays off.

Eight, nine years? The “right way?” No shortcuts? Hard work and dedication?

How does this square with building a fake image on the internet overnight and banking cash immediately? Eight or nine years to become the best? Years?

Yeah, Lebron switched teams. Boo hoo. He went somewhere where he thought he could be a champion. Doesn’t seem like a bad move at this point. Maybe you should do the same.

The bad news from Lebron for all you trying to convince the Google searchers you’re the best overnight, is that becoming the best takes time. It takes work, it takes more than just telling people you are the best. Still, in 2012, even with the iPhone 4S and Evernote, there are no shortcuts. You’ve all been lied to.

So hate Lebron all you want. Hate the Miami Heat. No one cares, and no one is worried that many of you may start thinking about building your career the old-fashioned way –- without shortcuts. You have loans, and you have no chance of getting a job. If you don’t start bringing in cash immediately, you may have to do something else (which you probably should have done before that evil law school forced you to go there with their promises of a job.)

Lebron is a champion. He is a winner. He worked to get to this point in his career. His image was created by his work on (and off) the court. He believes there are no shortcuts.

He’s right, which is probably why you hate him so much.

Brian Tannebaum will never “get on board” at the advice of failed lawyers who were never a part of the past but claim to know “the future of law.” He represents clients, every day, in criminal and lawyer discipline cases without the assistance of an Apple device, and usually gets to work (in an office, not a coffee shop) by 9 a.m. No client has ever asked if he’s on Twitter. He can be reached at

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