We have all heard the aphorism that life is like a roller coaster, in that it has its ups and downs, its twists and turns. Since we know what roller coasters are and we know how life is also like a box of chocolates, what with the never knowing what you are going to get, we know this to be true.
LeBron James has heard this too, but he doesn’t think his life is just a single roller coaster. He thinks it’s the whole amusement park. From the Miami Herald:
“You ever been to an amusement park?” he says. “That’s what my life has been like. Twists and turns. Up and down. Uh-oh, here we go, the roller-coaster is going into the dark hole again. Where’s the light? There’s the light. Up and down. Back into the dark hole. Back in the light. That’s what my life has been like.”
OK, so he is basically just describing a single roller coaster. The twists, the turns, the tunnels, the dips, the dives, the presence and/or absence of light — that’s all roller coaster stuff, rather than just standard amusement park stuff. Whoops.
But this analogy can work. LeBron James’ life can be more than just a roller coaster. It can be the entire amusement park. In fact, I’ve worked out a roughly chronological order of how and why LeBron James’ life is an amusement park.
- Being on the cover of Sports Illustrated when he was in high school is like when you find out there is a new amusement park being built and you can see the skeletons of the roller coasters being built.
- When LeBron was selected first overall by the Cavaliers, that was opening day, obviously.
- LeBron didn’t make the All-Star Game his rookie year, which is pretty much the same as when you have to stand in line for three hours while you’re waiting for the new ride that just opened, even though it’s only like 48 seconds long.
- During LeBron’s third season, the Cavs made the playoffs for the first time in LeBron’s career. This is like when an amusement park builds an adjacent water park, in that it seems awesome at the time but you go once and never really have the motivation to go again. Really great when it first happens though.
- The Cavaliers made the NBA Finals during the 2006-07 season, largely on the back of LeBron’s amazing performance against the Detroit Pistons in the conference finals. This is like when people are crossing the bridge by the log flume and get totally soaked without knowing it’s coming.
- It seems quaint now, but during LeBron’s fifth season he had a legitimate beef with DeShawn Stevenson and Soulja Boy. This is the amusement park equivalent of those cheap, old metal roller coasters where you sit in someone else’s lap, bobsled style.
- After that season, LeBron won his first MVP. That’s the park’s first looping coaster.
- Those playoffs, however, LeBron and the Cavs lost to the Celtics and LeBron caught a lot of heat for not shaking hands after Cleveland had been eliminated. This is like when you eat too many nachos and feel gross afterwards.
- Next season, another MVP. Second looping coaster, this one named after a superhero.
- Again, the Celtics knocked the Cavs out of the playoffs. Another tray of nachos, this one with extra cheese and jalapeños.
- This brings us to “The Decision.” You guessed it — that’s when the nachos finally catch up to you and you puke everywhere while riding one of those fair rides like the Scrambler or the Tilt-a-Whirl. Why would you do that when you knew you weren’t feeling well? No one knows. You were just caught up in the moment.
- Losing to the Mavericks in last year’s Finals was like when you planned on going to the amusement park with your best buddies, only you woke up and it was raining so the park was closed.
- In December 2011, the Miami Heat signed Eddy Curry. He’s the churro stand of LeBron’s amusement park life.
- This season, LeBron won another MVP. Total Giant Drop addition.
- Now the Heat are in the NBA Finals again. Since we can’t see the future due to a lack of viable technology, let’s say this is the same as when you go to an amusement park because there are some new rides, only the rides are only intermittently open because the park’s operators are trying to make sure they run correctly. You’re not sure if you’re going to get to experience this new, awesome sensation, but you really want to.
As you can see, it’s a lot of work, but I think this is what LeBron James was trying to get at. Either that or he meant to say his life was like a roller coaster and just overstated things a bit. Could be either one of those.