NORFOLK, Va. - As the 2018 college football season approaches, we link LeBron to ODU football. Yes, there's a connection between King James and the Old Dominion program.
There's no debate, LeBron James is the best basketball player of this era. He's on the short-list of the greatest to ever play the game.
However, the four-time NBA MVP and 14-time All-Star has just three titles in nine trips to the NBA Finals. So, when on the sport's biggest stage, he's failed two-thirds of the time.
In a 2013 interview with ESPN.com, LeBron admits the "fear of failure" is one of his biggest obstacles. He's on-record saying he wants to succeed so badly, he's afraid of coming up short.
Last season, the Old Dominion football team came up short.
The Monarchs, marred by a six-game losing streak - the longest skid since relaunching the football program, stumbled to a 5-and-7 season.
ODU's losing season came on the heels of the program's first-ever bowl game victory in the program's first-ever bowl game appearance, the Popeye's Bahamas Bowl, to cap-off the 2016 season. The Monarchs finished that campaign with a 10-and-3 record.
So, we ask, what makes the Monarchs tick? Failure or fortune?
"Anything with LeBron you have to listen to," ODU head football coach Bobby Wilder admitted in an interview with News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler. "With LeBron being one of the best athletes in the world, he can have that fear of failure. When you're working with 110 young people, you have to find more motivation positive. That's my belief, that's my philosophy as a head coach. I don't like the fear aspect. I like the 'here's why you want to win'. So for us, our theme is the process of winning."
The Monarchs, who have never suffered back-to-back losing seasons under Bobby Wilder, open their 2018 slate Saturday September 1st at Liberty.