Including & Besides a Hero

LeBron’s Journey and the Monomyth

To pick through the life of LeBron James is not my intent. Rather I think the grand narrative of problem/struggle/redemption is nearly universal. People — or perhaps even him — will identify something within themselves by witnessing his prominent journey.

Over a series of post, we will look at the psychological, mythological and storytelling pieces of this Joseph Campbell’s work. As with other influential work for me, I will revisit highlighted pieces.

There’s 17 stages in Campbell’s:

  1. Call to Adventure: Tough upbringing in Akron, Ohio. Life without father, unstable household. Moves 8 times in 2 years. His athletic talent is immense
  2. Refusal of the Call: Moves in with Walkers. Wants a normal life and to fit in rather than pursue grand visions. His world just isn’t that big.
  3. Supernatural Aid: Finds a recycled coach who gives him even more structure, attention, care and nourishment.
  4. Crossing First Threshold: Wins state title his first year at SVSM, emerges as breakout star in ABCD camp and lands on the cover of Sports Illustrated as “Chosen One”.
  5. Belly of the Whale:
  6. Road of Trials:
  7. Meeting with the Goddess:
  8. Temptation:
  9. Atonement with the Father:
  10. Apostasis:
  11. The Ultimate Boon:
  12. Refusal of the Return:
  13. Magic Flight:
  14. Rescue from Without:
  15. Crossing the Return Threshold:
  16. Master of Two Worlds:
  17. Freedom to Live:

Piece by piece, I want to look at how these pieces add up — and if they are the backbone — for LeBron’s portrayal in the media.

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