Originally written on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Ten years ago LeBron James made his highly anticipated NBA debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ten years ago award-winning poet and playwright Lemon Andersen paid tribute to LeBron with a poem titled “King,” a piece that honored James’s ascension into professional basketball. Ten years later Anderson has penned a new poem “Rubber City Soul” that celebrates LeBron James and is featured in this new Nike commercial. “Rubber City Soul” For In a land far away Under a blanket of the stars On a moonless night a child was born in a kingdom Of basketball gods In a county they called the summit north of the capital a rubber city Where the Akronites run it This child earned Learned the labors of his love From watching his neighbors Rise above hard work At the local mills Watching the sweat of their brow Seeing his comrades growing up Trying to conquer the hill A steep field of wheat worn from cleats and cold pounding the bottom of their soles Against tough Ohio winters and unconditional vertigo But he rose from the dusk of Elizabeth Park And her projects till the arrival of the dawn rose from a high school phenom Straight to the pros never forgetting how the sun set on Lake Erie How the rough waters of the spotlight can ravage Flow savagely along always high tide Knowing the odds against him Yet his will to compete Remained Hickory Street strong For In all this love for his land He learned to live by the code of a warriors song and glorious were the wins stacked to the back of the wall banners dropped from the top of the rafters For all the world to see this man child rise up against the odds under the Akronite philosophy In his mind ever burned: Talent is given Greatness is earned. Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
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