It always seems possible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela.
Last night, the sports world gave us yet another potent reminder that what is seemingly impossible IS possible.
Before this year, no team in the history of the NBA had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. 32 teams found themselves in that hole. Of those 32 teams, only 3 forced a Game 7. Not one of them ever won the Larry O’Brien trophy.
After four games, the Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves behind three games to one. At that point, the experts, relying on statistics, stated that the Golden State Warriors had a 92% chance of winning the whole shebang.
Not only were the Cavaliers facing incredibly daunting odds, but they were also playing who many considered as the greatest team in NBA history. Not only that but the Warriors were the defending NBA champions as well. The Warriors destroyed the competition on the way to an unbelievable record of 73-9 in the regular season, breaking the Chicago Bulls’ 1995-96 record for most wins in a season. They had the Splash Brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and an unbelievably deep team. Curry was the first unanimous MVP in NBA history and set a single-season record for most three-pointers. Many were saying that Curry was changing the game itself.
Furthermore, the Warriors were coming into the NBA Finals incredibly confident after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in an epic seven-game Western Conference Finals. Golden State had faced a 3-1 deficit in that series and stormed back to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals.
The first two games of the Finals were blowouts by Golden State. The Cavs looked miserable and out of the Warriors’ league. Golden State seemed to be coasting. They then extended their lead to 3-1.
So, at one point, the Cavaliers were down 3-1 against the best team in history.
The odds were not looking good. In fact, it looked impossible. Given the history of the NBA Finals history, many agreed that it would be virtually impossible for Cleveland to come back from a 3 to 1 deficit and win the whole thing.
There was no freaking way.
But they did it. By golly, they did it.
The Cavaliers were opportunistic and took advantage of Draymond Green’s one game suspension and somehow, improbably, turned the series around.
With epic performances by LeBron in Games 5, 6, and 7 along with Kyrie’s own epic performance in Game 5 and that game-winning dagger in Game 7, the Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win it all!
They had achieved the seemingly impossible.
This serves as a potent reminder to all of us that anything IS possible, especially for those of us in the martial arts.
I don’t think that the Cleveland Cavaliers would have won the NBA Championship if they had not believed in themselves, especially LeBron James.
From the time he came back to NE Ohio in June 2014, he had a vision of bringing a trophy back home.
And he fulfilled it big time.
I’ve seen too many martial artists impose limitations or mental roadblocks on themselves. As a result, meeting their goals looks elusive.
“I don’t know if I can do it.”
“No way I can do it.”
“Are you kidding?“
“It’s too much work.“
Think that LeBron was thinking those thoughts? Absolutely not.
He likely never strayed from his vision. Stuck with it, worked for it, and persevered.
How did he do it? He probably did all or some of the following:
- Envision success.
- Devise a plan for success.
- Execute the plan.
- Work harder than everyone else.
- Never stop believing in yourself.
Don’t let anyone discourage you by pointing out the long odds or that it can’t be done. Or that it’s impossible.