As a sports fan, I love my teams to death. I have sat down in front of a screen for almost 10 years and watched my teams (Knicks, Jets, Hillary Clinton) lose consistently but that never stopped me from taking multiple hours out of my week to watch the same narratives unfold: blowouts, the fake comebacks, and the upset that serves you false hope until you look at the standings and remind yourself your team has become the punch line of the organization. Why do we do this? Why does every offseason bring optimism even when your premiere signing is Aaron Afflalo and each draft pick is a steal? In recent years, I have tried to abate my blind fandom and have come to appreciate the sport of basketball on broader scale. By doing this, one takes on a more rational understanding of the game: “This is what quality coaching looks like!” “Wow you can pass the ball?” You can still have fervor for your team but can give yourself more realistic expectations. Nobody is going from doldrums to playoff contender in one year. I hate to say it but Sam Hinkie was right. You have to trust the process. Granted, some processes crash and burn like the Iasiah Thomas Knicks or “the Mark Sanchez experiment”.
In most situations, being a sports fan is a lot like being insane. The popular phrase marks that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. While not entirely accurate, sports fandom comes very close to making personifying this. Coaches can tweak their game plans and new players can be signed but for the most part, successful teams have a core of players that have been together for many years but every year, only one team can win. Winning teams can make small adjustments but for the most part a winning formula is a winning formula. But with years of being this close to a title only to lose to a dynasty comes a dedication. When that team finally does succeed, which statistically they have a decent chance to any given year, something amazing happens. Entire states come together and a weight can be removed off the shoulders of die hard fans who have suffered for years on end. Let this season of sports be a testament to that: the Cleveland Cavaleirs and the Chicago Cubs both deserve their victories after years and years of not being good enough.
The same feeling goes to losing teams who can see a bright future. Last year, a tall white string bean came into New York and immediately fit amongst the skyscrapers and was compared to the great Patrick Ewing. The cold Timberwolves fans earned their future hall of famer in KAT. With a bright future for my own New York Knicks, its hard to hold off on the excitement that comes with wins. But we must stay composed and unbiased to be the best sports fans we can be. For all the Harden fans wearing their beards, for every overconfident Warriors fan in a Durant jersey; to people thinking one man, even if it is Russell Westbrook, can carry a team into the playoffs, Michael Jordan has something to say to you.
Ah who am I kidding? KP6! Three six Latvia! The man is a seven foot three unicorn with handles like Durant, shot blocking of Anthony Davis, and a sweet jumper of Dirk Nowistky himself! Durant said that! Kevin Freaking Durant. ALL HAIL ZINGIS KHAN. PRAISE BE TO PORZINGIS!