Dad's championship ring lives in a locked box in Mom and Dad's closet. Though none of the characters explicitly explains where exactly Dad's championship ring came from, Dad says simply that he got it because he's "Da Man." This begins to situate the ring as a symbol of Dad himself and as a way for the boys to measure how much like Dad they're becoming, as Dad tells them that they can only wear the ring once they follow in his footsteps and become “Da Man” themselves. However, this all begins to look more sinister as Josh and JB learn about Dad's unwillingness to seek help for his health issues, both in the past with patellar tendinitis and in the present with his hypertension. This shift finalizes when, after Dad's death, JB gives Josh the championship ring on Dad's behalf; Dad implied on his deathbed that Josh is now “Da Man.” Josh's grief and lack of pride at this honor indicate that while the ring is still a symbol of Dad, a more holistic look at the man begins to show that “Da Man” was actually extremely flawed--and is, possibly, not the best role model.
The Championship Ring Quotes in The Crossover
You earned it, Filthy, he says,
sliding the ring on my finger.
My heart leaps
into my throat.
Dad's championship ring.
Between the bouncing
and sobbing, I whisper, Why?
I guess you Da Man now, Filthy, JB says.
And for the first time in my life
I don't want to be.