Sports, the Universe & a Healthy Dose of Cynicism in Portland

Heartbreak, NBA Draft Busts & 808’s

Sometimes, instead of treated you get tricked

I have a “friend” who was in this “relationship.”

There was six months of happiness, six months of misery, a breakup, a year of “getting over it,” another year of trying again/getting deceived again and a final year of cutting ties, healing and catharsis.

That makes for:

Two years of hope and ultimate dissapointment, plus a difficult third and fourth year that are entirely optional, yet usually embarked upon anyway.

The bad NBA rookie contract.

It’s all about the honeymoon phase, really.

If the beginning is that good, the illusion’s even better.

Adam Morrison was really good in the beginning. He averaged nearly 30 PPG his junior season.

He was so good, that when it came time to draft him, a few people (Michael Jordan) looked past all those red flags – like being 6’8” and averaging 5.5. RPG and .3 BPG in a weak conference – and selected him with the 3rd pick.

Blocks and rebounds are usual athletic indicators that translate to success at the next level. Kevin Durant – who had a similar game at the college level – averaged 11.1 RPG and 1.9 BPG.

That’s basically the life equivalent of moving in with someone who resents you for the people you dated before you met them.

It didn’t pan out, needless to say. Morrison was a bad girlfriend shot under 40% his first year and that was as good as it ever got.

Yet MJ must have thought the Adam he fell in love with at Gonzaga was in there somewhere because he picked up Morrison’s third and fourth year options anyway for $9M+

That’s the thing with Love and Basketball.

Depending on how much the other person invests in the initial courtship, one can take those strong feelings to the bank for the next three or four years.

Darko Milicic did this for TEN YEARS!

Someone can treat you like total junk for a really long time, but the second you try and get out, they will always start crying and apologizing and give you 12 and 10 plus solid interior defense for one glorious month, until, boom, just like that —

You forget about the previous three years and eleven months of misery.

You go right back in for another four, hoping.

Always desperately hoping.

Because we all want to believe in love.

We stick around in these bad relationships because we are afraid of being alone want to rediscover that wonderful person we fell in love with.

Chances are, however, that the wonderful person we thought we loved never existed in the first place.

The present train-wreck of a basketball player is all there ever was.

Everyone always snaps out of it eventually. That’s why there’s the amnesty clause.

And resentment.

Poor Darko got amnestied 2 years into his 4 year deal

But we can’t be afraid to make those mistakes. We can do all the scouting in the world, but we’ll never know if someone’s going to pan out in the NBA until we give them a shot.

We just need to be logical about the whole thing. If they go all Jan Veseley and start accusing us of not loving them when we go out for a beer with friends, it’s probably a good idea to cut ties.

These contracts – and relationships – have options for a reason. To make our lives – and our teams – better if it’s not working.

If we have to pull the plug, we move forward (hopefully wiser), but we never stop trusting.

Because we can’t be afraid of putting ourselves out there.

How else do we find Michael Beasley, that once crazy ex who’s now top-25 in PER?

We just shouldn’t be surprised if they start screaming about “wandering eyes” on our anniversary dinner.

We’re watching you, Beasley.


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