THE EVOLUTION OF A MAN: An Open Letter by LeKeith Taylor

LeBron's return to Cleveland is an impeccable decision and this guy has nothing but the utmost respect from me. The level of maturity, growth and perspective felt in his return letter was nothing short of incredible. This is bigger than just basketball so not sure why people are upset or surprised.

See, the maturation process of a man throughout his 20s is an interesting and rocky one. Most of that time is spent trying to understand life, figure out who you are as a person, develop a foothold in your career and ultimately evolve into a man you're comfortable looking at in the mirror every morning, noon and night.

I can understand LeBron's journey because I have endured it. I left Chicago as a 24-year old kid - the only place I'd known as home - to move to New York City with nothing but dreams and visions for success. And I left New York as a 32-year old man with an amazing wife and son, a great career, unimaginable experiences and those dreams I envisioned closer than I could've ever imagined. I understand what's important now. But I needed to leave Chicago to do that and become the person I am today - just as LeBron needed to leave Cleveland. What we are witnessing here is the journey of a kid developing into a man right before our eyes and seeing his life path come full circle.

If I had to sum up LeBron's return with an analogy, it's like being in a relationship with a woman who's perfect for you across the board. Sure, there are ups and down but you two have a long-standing history, a deep connection and have experienced great success as partners. Ultimately you want nothing but to spend the rest of your life with this woman and create a legacy, but certain challenges prevent you from being able to get over the hurdle. So you decide to move on, even though she still has your heart and your journey with her feels incomplete. But in moving on, you grow, mature and became a better man with clarity, perspective, understanding and most importantly self-awareness. That time apart helped you see and truly realize what is important. So you become friends again, you talk. You hash out any differences and misunderstandings you may have had when you were together and you tell each other why it's meant for you two to be together again. So you recommit yourself to creating something special with this person because you are able to now. You have spent the last 4 years of your life becoming the man you needed to be, to embark on this journey and create a legacy with this woman.

Sometimes you have to leave the nest to uncomfortably take on new beginnings and grow as a person in order to see the bigger picture and be able to give back as a more complete human being with a fuller understanding. 

LeBron's journey begs the question for all of us: What are we committed to and what necessary steps have we taken to become better for that commitment? 

Lekeith Taylor is a brand marketing consultant and former NCAA athlete. He's worked with brands such as Nike, Beats by Dre, Converse, MetLife and the Home Depot. 

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