I’m from Philadelphia.
When LeBron James — from Ohio — was a senior in high school, he and his high school club (St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, or SVSM) came to Philly for a showcase game against Strawberry Mansion, one of the top teams in Philly which happened to feature a guy named Maureece Rice who ended up breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s scholastic scoring record (which is a lot of fucking points).
In the video above, you see all of Rice’s highlights form the game, which all took place in the fourth quarter. He even makes LeBron fall with a crossover on one play, sending the crowd into complete pandemonium. He scores on LeBron and does a few nice dribbling moves “on” him, for whatever that’s worth.
The funny thing about this video — and you will know if you watch any street basketball — is that Rice’s moves and his highlight crossover (on which he subsequently shot an air ball three pointer) were probably the most talked-about moments of the game. I mean, look at the crowd’s reaction to that move. Then, note the score of the game at the bottom of the screen for the duration of this video. SVSM was running the top team in Philadelphia out of the gym with relative ease (also note how obvious it is that LeBron is just on another level from the other 9 players on the floor).
In the long run we all know how this turned out. LBJ is the best player on the planet and unless you’re a hoops junkie or from Philly, you’ve probably never heard of Rice (who did play D1 college ball and was in the DLeague for some time — he’s probably overseas somewhere nowadays). But in the moment, Rice was The Man all because of his one moment in an otherwise forgettable game for his club in his own town. LeBron didn’t — and probably couldn’t, with it being Philly and all — battle Rice for the fanfare in that gym that day. But in the long run, he doesn’t have to say anything.
There will be moments in life — someone says something, does something, you feel some type of way — where it seems you’re down or have lost the upper hand to another person, they out maneuvered you for the moment and have a small victory. No need to overreact. In the long run, the better, smarter, more-prepared entity will always win. And the small victories, along with those who relished them, will be long forgotten.
“I play for time and see what happens.” – Queen Elizabeth of England