Monday, June 20, 2016

No More Basketball in My Life

I used to watch a fair amount of NBA basketball and was a big Warriors and Lakers fan over most of that time. But I gradually lost most of my interest in NBA or any other level of basketball until the Warriors won the NBA championship last season and appeared to be on their way to winning another this season with the most exciting game and player in the game. 

They did set the all-time regular season record this season by winning 73 games and losing only 9, but toward the end of the regular season and then in the playoffs they began to falter.

I'm not sure why this happened. There are probably many interacting reasons: Other teams adjusted to what they were doing. Stephen Curry suffered some injuries that compromised his remarkable shooting and ball handling skills. They were physically and psychologically depleted after pursuing and setting the regular season record. They lacked the "length" and raw athleticism that tend to favor teams in very hard-fought NBA playoff games. Etc, etc.

The Warriors lost the seventh game in Oakland to the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James last night, and it and the whole series really pissed me off. They were up 3-1 in the series and allowed Cleveland to come back and beat them three games in a row. 

And it seems like they virtually handed some of those games to the Cavs with horrible passing, shot selection, and shot percentages. Curry made some particularly egregious plays in vital situations such as behind the back passes that went out of bounds or were easily stolen, and ridiculously long, forced shots at key times when there was plenty of time on the clock to set up better shots and it was so, so important that they score. 

Curry may well have had an injured shoulder, knee, and goodness knows what else that prevented him from working the miracles he did earlier in the season, but then he should have realized this and played within himself instead of making obscene mistakes when it mattered most. One of my Facebook friends said that Curry doesn't play smart basketball. I didn't want to admit it at the time, but he was right. Curry plays dumb basketball too much of the time on both offense and defense.

I'm very disappointed in Curry. But I think I can attribute this in no small part to doing what I said after the Ronda Rousey defeat that I wasn't going to keep doing--put people on a high pedestal that no human being, because we're all imperfect, warrants. So, maybe this time, I'll be able to follow through with my resolution.

In addition to this, I plan to stop watching NBA basketball or paying any attention to it. I find that when I do watch it or pay serious attention to it, it's because I've become so emotionally invested in a team that I get really agitated when they play poorly or lose, and I become very hostile to opposing players and fans. I don't need more of this in my life, nor do I need to keep wasting time watching basketball or reading about it when I could be doing so many other things that are more worthwhile.

Maybe over time I'll be able to enjoy watching basketball and even root for a team without getting emotionally bent out of shape over it the way I do now, but I don't think that will or should make a difference. Like I said, there's so much else I could and should be doing with the precious time left to me, and watching and following NBA or college basketball just doesn't rate on that rarefied list.


Thomas Armstrong said...

Next year YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION to root for the Warriors. You can limit your extreme-take-over-your-life time to the playoffs, if you want, but YOU KNOW you will watch the whole of a third straight Warriors-Cavs Championship Final if those two teams get there next year.


Steve said...

Tom, given the Warriors' acquisition of Kevin Durant, providing them what will surely be the most entertainingly and dazzlingly potent offense in the fabled history of the NBA, I confess that my resolve to stop watching NBA basketball will probably melt helplessly away long before the playoffs. In fact, it's already disintegrated as I can't wait to see how the team performs with such an unprecedented agglomeration of staggering offensive talent. Bring on the NBA season post haste!