By Daniel Friedman
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Whether we admit it or not, we love sports because we can relate to them and because we’ve created an emotional bond with them. We look to sports for inspiration and for the opportunity to feel good about ourselves.
Despite the greed and ego that is often associated with sports, we know there are plenty of moments that demonstrate great courage and pride. Here are the Top 5 stories that made us feel good this year (so far):
5. LeBron returns to Cleveland
Other than Buffalo, is there another sports city that deserves a shot at a championship more than Cleveland? That town was devastated when LeBron left and he’s pumped life back into it by coming back. You don’t go to Cleveland for the money and attention — that’s what New York, Los Angeles and Miami are for. You go to Cleveland because you feel a sense of attachment and you want to win.
4. Jason Collins and Michael Sam
We are constantly progressing as a society in terms of gay rights and there’s nothing that represents this more than what Collins and Sam have done. You should also take a look at what Patrick Burke and the You Can Play project are working on. It’s something to be proud of.
3. Dominic Moore overcomes tragedy
Moore took the year off after his wife died of cancer, but then came back to New York, where he started his career. He had a fine season and helped the Rangers get to the Stanley Cup Final. He showed us that we can always rebound in the face of tragedy.
2. Martin St. Louis honors his late mother
St. Louis lost his mother during the second round of the playoffs, but felt that she would want him to play and decided to honor her by doing so. A few days later, on Mother’s Day, he scored a big goal in Game 6. Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better. No matter which team you root for — if you’re not happy for him, you’re probably a robot.
1. Adam Silver bans Donald Sterling
Silver might have handed out the most decisive, most justified punishment in the history of professional sports. It was the right thing to do, but far from an easy thing to do. It’s hard to say how many people would’ve actually done what he did if they were in his shoes. Years from now, we’ll talk about Silver’s decision the way we talk about the civil rights movement, because it’s a game-changer on so many levels.
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