• Ellakisha S. OKelley, Esq.

Debate This-The Sport of Life

After five games and whole lot of hoopla surrounding the NBA championship, the most memorable moment for me was watching the post victory commercial of Kevin Durant. In portraying the naysayers’ remarks and debates about who Durant is, and what his capabilities are, the “Debate This” Nike commercial does an excellent job of capturing a man defying all odds.

As a former athlete, I have always paralleled athletics to the experience of life; and each person as an athlete going for that championship in their journey. I coined this parallel as the “Sport of Life,” and have delivered numerous empowerment speeches under this concept. For the most part, we all share the common goal of winning in life. Some of us must train harder, prepare wiser and persist longer but possibilities abound us all if we go hard in the paint.

“Too weak; soft; not the right skills; just alright; gravy train; cry baby,” are some of the critiques that were echoed about Durant in the commercial. The ending shows him walking away with that much-desired NBA championship. He stayed focused, set goals, and made decisions that a lot of people did not agree with. Despite it all, as he said during his postgame interview after game five, “[he] put in work and trusted in it.”[1]

No matter what side you may have been on regarding Durant in the NBA finals, it is safe to say that we all have experienced the raft of naysayers, haters and non-supporters. At some point, we were told we don’t have the skill, or that it can’t be done, or made to feel that we were just alright. So how do we overcome the noise to reach our championship goal as Durant did? Albeit, it’s starting your own business; making that career move; going for that promotion; getting a specific degree; or living your dream life. I’ll tell you, put in the work and trust in it.

No one says it will happen overnight. As a matter of fact, usually when it takes time, the outcome is bigger and better than we expected. As Durant said in his postgame interview after game three “I’ve been working on that shot my whole life, and uh, for that one to go in, it was liberating right there.”[2]

Our timeline may be flooded with posts of disappointments or celebration. Some critics may say the message was the wrong message at the wrong time.[3] Some may not care either way. But I would like to take this moment and reflect on the Sport of Life. I encourage you to defy all odds. Focus on your championship, and for everyone who doubted you or wanted to see you fail, let your results speak for themselves in saying “Debate This.”




#SportsEntertainmentLaw #Athlete #Athletes #Life #Basketball #SportofLife #Games #Champion #Championship #NBA

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