How does the G.O.A.T. retire with dignity? This is a question that’s plagued anyone who has made it to the top of their craft, and a question that LeBron James and Drake openly discuss in a new clip from HBO’s The Shop.
There was a time when NOBODY thought Tiger Woods would win at golf again including Tiger himself. He’s told the story about how he was experiencing so much back pain that he fell down in his backyard and couldn’t move. His daughter came and found him and he sent her for help but in that moment he wasn’t thinking about winning another PGA tournament, Tiger was worried that he’d never walk without pain again.
Michael Jordan’s final on-court years with the Washington Wizards (2001-2003) were sad, to say the least. Legendary Florida State Football head coach Bobby Bowden could’ve (should’ve!!!) walked away from coaching in 2003 or 2004 but he hung on for a decade of mediocrity before being edged out by Jimbo Fisher.
The question of when and how to walk away from the height of perfection isn’t something I’ll ever need to consider but it’s a very real concern for guys like LeBron James and Drake who are the apex of their industries.
In a new clip from HBO’s The SHop, a barbershop-style TV show where LeBron speaks openly with guests, LeBron and Drake talk about how they can hang it up one day and walk away with dignity. They’re both taking steps right now to ensure they’ll know *when* they should retire by surrounding themselves with honest people.
Here’s what Drake had to say: “I think maybe one of my biggest concerns in my career is just to figure out how to exit gracefully. I’ve watched people overstay their welcome and I just don’t ever want to be that guy that’s addicted to the feeling of victory, addicted to the emotion of people digesting something that they love, and get to a point where I’m feeding them something and they’re just like ‘yeah!’”
LeBron goes on to say “You can’t have mother f*ckers around you that don’t keep it honest with you and keep it real with you. You’ve got to have someone to tell you like, ‘yo, either accept a lesser role or you gotta just tank.’”…Can you really imagine LeBron James accepting a lesser role on the court? I can’t.
I think it will be A LOT more difficult for LeBron to walk away from the NBA than it’ll be for Drake to leave Hip-Hop. Being the ‘Greatest of All-Time’ can be subjective in Rap/Hip-Hop but when LeBron’s career comes to a close he might hold all the stats needed to officially name him the G.O.A.T. and it could be very, very difficult for him to disseminate those records from his (potentially) declining play in the future.
Drake’s proven that he can handle critics. He walked away from his rap beef this year. I can easily see him becoming some old-ass rapper spitting bars about Dad Jokes if that’s what he wants to do at the time. The logical move is to step back and focus on the label and producing, and I’m sure that’ll come one day, but I definitely envision LeBron retiring a long time before Drake. Don’t you?
Here’s another clip from Episode 2 of The Shop:
Episode 2 of The Shop airs tomorrow (Friday, October 12) on HBO. (h/t HighSnobiety)