Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Update: LeBron Won't Miss Finals
For Birth of Second Child

UPDATE: Here's a must-read post from Bethlehem Shoals at Free Darko, about this very topic!

Yesterday, we talked about whether LeBron has a dilemma on his hands, given that the birth of his second kid is on track to be during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

The Akron Beacon-Journal has the background. AOL Fanhouse has the update, and here it is:

LeBron has spoken: He ain't missing the...birth of his child Finals. I said it yesterday: Maybe they can pipe it through to the arena Jumbotron.

I'm wondering if this will spark any debate at all. NBA fans without kids will undoubtedly agree with LeBron. Do fans with kids feel the same way? It begs the question:

Which is more "once-in-a-lifetime": The birth of a child or playing in your first -- perhaps only -- NBA Finals?

-- D.S.


soxfan2550 said...

missing from this debate is the fact this is his 2nd child with his..."girlfriend"....whats the deal with that? after one wouldn't the manly thing to do is marry the girl? now a 2nd one?...once again we have a prominent black athlete spreading his seed without any commitment...nice role model indeed.

German Rodriguez said...

I think I have to agree with LeBron here; I'm not a proponent of missing the birth neccesarily, but he is the most important player on his team - without him the have no chance; he knows this. He'll see the baby after the game, and for the rest of the child's life. I can't imagine his wife holding this against him.

As far as what is more "once in a lifetime"...it's his 2nd child. We should ask Ewing, Barkley, Reggie, and other legends who only got one chance.

Jibblescribbits said...

No kids here...

But I wouldn't miss the birth of my child for nearly anything. At the end of the day, he's choosing work over his family.

Yes it's a lot of money, and it's his life's passion and everything he's worked for since he was probably 12. He has teammates that depend on him, and he has an orginization counting on him, but At the end of the day he plays basketball as a job, and he's choosing that over his family.

DanShanoff.com said...

soxfan2550: I wouldn't make it a racial thing. There are plenty of white athletes who "spread their seed without any commitment."

rafael said...

Not even close to having kids. But, like with any event, the 2nd time is never as important as the first. Does not mean you love the child less, however.
A basketball game lasts less than 3 hours. Maybe he'll just hope that she has the baby during one of the other 21 hours in a day.

Jack McClosky said...

I have to be honest, I think this is messed up. I mean saying you would miss the birth of your second child in the same week that you said you experience the best moment of your life by winning the ECF.

Now don't get me wrong I am a huge NBA fan and I totally understand that LeBron is the only thing worth watching on the Cavs and because of that he needs to be at each game.

However, instead of saying you WILL NOT miss a Finals game to see your child be born why not just say you will do both and not look like an idiot in either forum (life v. basketball). Just have the doctor's induce your girlfriend on an off day. Problem solved, wa-la!

PJay said...

My wife gave birth this past May 1st and from what I saw, there are plenty of drugs that they can give BronBron's girlfriend to either speed up or slow down the labor.

Plus they say that subsequent births don't take as long laborwise, so like Rafael mentioned, as long as she goes into labor the other 21 hours or so of the day, there shouldn't be a conflict.

Provided he wants to be at the birth in the first place.

coach said...

I would think that he and the mother of the child have talked about this possible scenario a long time ago. They've certainly known the due date for many months.

Beyond that, the child will only know about his father having been there or not from the retelling. I'm sure that many fathers who were present at their child's birth don't turn out to be a loving and present parent.

As far as the once in a lifetime thing, it's hard to say. I have 3 children and was present for all of their births. I missed work for them. However, I don't have a job that carries with it the same type of responsiblity as a professional basketball player, especially one of Lebron's caliber. Like it or not, he has a responsiblity as a representative of his city to fulfill that obligation. That requires sacrifices in his personal life. That's part of the tradeoff.

At the end of the day though, the decision is his own. All I'm saying is that not being there, and not being married to the mother, does not mean he will be an absent, unloving, or poor father. Heck, it may be a good example for him to point when he teaches his kids about honoring commitments.

soxfan2550 said...

dan, i appreciate your comments about turning that into a racial thing and agree there are certainly examples of white athletes having the same behavior. However without turning this blog into a socialogical dialogue there are 2 issues that must be spoken. First with a general lack of role models in many urban communities the black athlete (with apologies to Barkley) has become in many areas the only role model. Add to that that in this country illegitimate births occur at about 3 times the rates for blacks as whites which clearly contributes to many societal ills. The combination means that unfortunately (and unfairly I'd admit) each time a role model exhibits behaviors that are questionable it can ultimately only hurt the communities they represent. I'll leave it at that.

Larry said...

When LeBron is old and gray (like the old man in The LeBrons?), which will he care about more, his son/daughter or his ring(s)? I think his decision speaks more to his upbringing (emphasis on basketball above all else) and immaturity (he's only 22, after all). He's probably too young to realize that one's family is really all one has ("stuff" isn't as rewarding as family).

Having said that, 21% of labours are induced anyway (as of 2005), so, as others have pointed out, it will probably be a non-issue. And for those finger-waggers, nearly 37% of births in 2005 were to single moms (not saying it's good or bad, just saying LeBron and his girlfriend aren't breaking new ground).

thistlewarrior said...

Heard an interesting comment regarding this on M&M this morning. Greenie kept saying she should just schedule an induction or as he said "get the petosin drip (sp?)". While their discussion was entertaining, in all seriousness I don't think that voluntary induction is a v. good idea. Friends of mine that were induced had absolutely horrible times that resulted in 36hr labors that ended up have c-sections anyway.

That being said, I can understand why LeBron would choose a Finals game over labor. For one, there is no telling how long labor will last. What if he were to miss the game and the baby still wasn't out yet? Secondly, it hasn't been that long ago that doctors wouldn't even let fathers into the delivery room. IMO it is more important that he is a good father to his child throughout the child's life than being at the birth.

Larry said...

One other note. Being at a child's birth isn't simply about being a good Varsity Dad; it's about being a good Varsity Partner (husband, boyfriend, whatever).

The birth of my son was, for my wife, the most agonizing, tramatic, painful event in her life; honestly, it was difficult to witness, but there is no way I would want her to go through that without me there.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that a labour becomes life-threatening (African-American moms have maternal mortality rates four times higher than American Caucasians). The critical thing isn't being there when baby is born, but being there for the person whom one loves above all else.

Y-Town Pride said...

When the kid turns 18 let's ask him how his father not being at his birth affected his life. It's not like he'll remember it.

This is LeBron's personal choice. When he misses it, he has to live with the decision.

Nosipho said...

I don't think that it will affect his child one way or the other - but as a mom, I think that it is pretty insensitive to the mother of his child.

Also, having experienced a pitocin induced labor - it hurts more than non-induced labor and it can cause more stress to the child, I'm pissed that anyone is talking about inducing or prolonging labor for the sake of anyone but the mother and the child. LeBron does have the option of having the whole labor recorded and he can watch it later on his High definition plasma TV.