Photo by greengardenvienna
Hey friends, been enjoying watching the playoffs? And by that I mean: been enjoying watching the two teams that began rebuilding at approximately the same moment as the Wolves (the Grizzlies and the Thunder) play each other in the conference semifinals? I know I have–and I’m not just saying this to be dry and snarky. It really has been pretty revelatory to watch two teams, with some great luck and some great decisions, craft really competitive, really passionate young rosters–and then see those rosters actually thrive in the postseason.
Some have taken this as a hopeful sign for the Wolves, a sign that rebuilding can work, that a team can begin with next to nothing and end up playing thrilling late-Spring basketball. For me, though (and I’m guessing maybe for you), its more of an indicator of just how futile the Wolves’ attempts to rebuild have been. While OKC and the Griz have traveled a mostly straight line from mediocrity to success, the Wolves have been mired in the swamp. Think of Randy Foye and Mike Miller and Al Jefferson and Jonny Flynn and even Corey Brewer. Think about them and then weep.
So I can’t say that the lottery, the NBA’s strange instrument of parity, holds much excitement for me any longer. I’ve seen too many bitter turns of fortune (finishing with the league’s worst record, only to land the third pick, Christian Laettner, in the year of Shaq and ‘Zo, for instance) compounded by poor decisions (Foye and Flynn come to mind) to hold out much hope. Yes, there is Kyrie Irving and yes there is Derrick Williams. And yes there is the possibility that either player (or they guy they’re traded for) could become some transcendent emanation of pure spirit. But I’ve heard this all before.