Peyton Manning shows LeBron James how it’s done

Peyton Manning, left, and Jim Irsay.
(Joey Foley / Getty Images)
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Peyton Manning wanted to stay with his team but was pushed out the door by ownership. LeBron James was leaving a team that desperately wanted him to stay. Which one do you think had the classier farewell?

While there seems to be an ever-decreasing level of humility and grace in the sports world, former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning gave a farewell news conference Wednesday and thanked the Colts and the team owners for giving him a chance to lead the team for so many years.

“We all know that nothing lasts forever,” Manning said. “Times change, circumstances change, and that’s the reality of playing in the NFL.... But I’ll always be a Colt. I always will be. That’ll never change.”


Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay each fought tears as they appeared together at a news conference at the Colts’ team complex.

“This has not been easy for Jim,” Manning said, “and this has certainly not been easy for me.”

And Irsay then thanked Manning: “There will be no other Peyton Manning. Today we honor incredible memories and incredible things that he’s done for the franchise, for the city, for the state.”

Compare that to James’ self-centered “The Decision” TV special, in which he announced that he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with the Miami Heat.

“I didn’t want to make an emotional decision. I wanted to do what was best for LeBron James and what would make him happy,” James said back then. “This is a business and I had seven great years in Cleveland. I hope the fans understand; maybe they won’t.”

Humility vs. hubris. Let’s hope LeBron James, and anyone else who leaves the team they found success with, was watching.



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