Realistic optimism by a former skeptic after a 12 steps program...
(Picture this--a circle of people who tell their troubles to one another. One by one, a member stands up, recites his name, and begins his story...)
My name is Big Shot==I am a former skeptic.
(To which the group responds in unison: HELLO BIG SHOT!)
I began the off-season the moment the Spurs lost game 7 in a panic. The sight of the Mavs and their owner celebrating at the AT&T Arena was just too much to bear.
It was bad enough that we had lost.
But we had to lose to Mark Cuban--of all people, for the love of God--an absolute putz who defamed my city, cussed out Bowen on the arena floor--that image was such a scar.
I started my treatment by convincing myself that the way to cope with this loss was to support Avery Johnson, a former Spur. I came onto this forum and went against the grain and was in the distinct minority view--asking my fellow Spurs fans to support the Mavs for AJ.
I even went onto a Mav website and wrote my support for the Mavs during their playoff series continued. I was warmly greeted by the vast majority of Mav fans (only one really gave me a hard time at first).
But after the NBA playoffs were over and the off-season began--all of the pent up emotions began to overtake me once again. I saw other teams make moves which appeared to make them stronger.
But my team--the one that I live and die with each year--appeared to be in a stalemate. Players opted for other teams one by one.
Players in Europe who I thought were destined to play for the silver and black were eliminated one by one.
Slowly the fear crept up inside of me. Could it be possible that my beloved team could be stuck--able to amass 60 plus win seasons only to be matched up against a quicker Mav team with superior skills overall with the new NBA rules that have neutralized defense?
Writers openly speculated--have the Spurs and their emphasis on defense become outdated in the new world of offense?
(At this time--I see beads of sweat appear on the foreheads of some of my encounter group's members--I had touched a nerve).
I spent many sleepless nights, reading the internet--especially Spurs Report--sometimes refreshing the pages after only a few minutes, hoping to see new developments--maybe a big free agent coming to SA for reduced dollars for the chance to play with the big three.
I became despondent--sometimes writing wholly irrational threads, looking for answers--any answers at all.
I could tell that I was becoming obsessed when I started talking to everyone--even non-basketball fans--about the Spurs and their plight. I asked one of my co-workers what the team should do about their hole at Center. She looked at me and slapped me--thought that I was sexually harassing her.
I hit rock bottom the day that I came here on this website at 4 a.m. during one of my sleepless nights talking to fellow Spurs fans about where people could go to get pizza in the middle of the night. Inadvertently, I had hi-jacked a thread and pages upon pages of basketball discussion became reduced to the munchies.
I took a break--took a week off. I did not read Spurs Report, the newspaper, the internet--nothing. Went cold turkey.
Then, when I came back, I did an experiment.
I went back to basketball threads on other fan websites.
I found an amazing discovery.
Other fans for other teams--even very good teams--were going through the exact same agony that Spurs fans are enduring.
Then I remembered recent history--when the FO gave us Manu and Tony Parker. We all scratched our heads and said--who? What?
Yes--this FO also gave us real clunkers--no one is perfect.
Still--we got this far with RC and Pop and a group that knows how to get unknown players who can perform well with our star players.
Who knows--another unknown in the future may become a future star. There are several examples of players who are average with one team and are stars with other teams. Maybe some of the guys that are being brought in will be the same.
But even if they are not stars--even if they are just solid role players who can give a minute here and there--we have won championships with those guys--players who get a ring in SA, who then leave for a higher paycheck with another team never to be heard from again.
I decided to make some changes in my life.
I learned to remember history--the Spurs are tough as nails after a loss, and they play better when they are not the defending champs and have to re-gain a foothold to the mountaintop.
They play better under the radar--when the media and everyone else are proclaiming some other team as the team to beat.
A new day is dawning--with some new blood, new enthusiasm, new hope.
I turned over a new leaf.
I have decided to become a "glass half full" person--look for the bright spots in recent Spurs activity.
I believe in the FO, RC and Pop.
I believe in Tim Duncan, Tony and Manu.
I believe in the system.
I believe the Spurs will win the NBA Championship in 2007. I can see it now so vividly, with the new role players dancing alongside Tony as he sings a French rap star with Eva dancing alongside of him.
I can see Mark Cuban's face as we defeat the Mavs in the WCF championship game--with AJ embracing Pop and wishing him well against the Heat in the Championship series.
They say to believe it--you have to see it in your mind.
These are just some of the images from my mind--
What images do you see?