The last night of the season

“People over here are worried about it, just lying on the couch not saying anything. Ted’s brother is crying.”

I was soaking in the tub, talking on my cellphone, icepack resting on my head, exhausted from my last vomit session of the night. While almost 25, I spent a large portion of my day awkwardly riding my new skateboard in the hundred degree heat and became the victim of sun stroke/poisoning/bumout. The plan had originally been to watch the game with my friends. Instead, I ended up being tended to by my Dad, barely able to open my eyes, and listening to the game on the radio. Not to get Fallwell-ian on myself, but I couldn’t help think that if I was in better shape and cheering on the TV screen with others the outcome of the game would have been much, much different.

“We’re going to go to The Break Room to do karaoke: It’s the only thing that will cheer us up.”

The whole thing was a fairly unceremonious conclusion to what was supposed to be the Suns’ most ceremonious year.

The whole thing was a fairly unceremonious conclusion to what was supposed to be the Suns’ most ceremonious year (again, and for reals this time): We all hugged and consoled each other; Jordan sang “Thunder Road” in honor of the team. People were still getting drunk and laughing just like any other night.

While bullshitting and trying to move on, I couldn’t help but think of what had just happened. It was over. There was no next game.

All the wins, losses, training, pains, triumphant comebacks, dunks, assists, steals, and so on and so forth were all for not. A whole entire year had just become a failure. Clearly, there are more important things in the world and every person on our bench is pretty lucky to play a game for a living, but I still felt bad for them; especially Nash. I–being human–have a soft spot for people who have an unquenchable thirst to be the very best at what they do. Even though they are usually rivals, I can’t help but feel empathy for them when they falter. KG. McGrady. Even Kobe.

After awhile, though, I could think about other things intermittently through the night. I imagined–now that I have zero interest in the Finals (Chris Weber and Tim Duncan guffawing after every call will be torturous)–I could go back to reading regular news. I could listen fully to people instead of thinking about what Barbosa’s deal is all about in the back of my mind. I could go back to Austin, move on with my defeat, and hope for the best next year.

* * *
2006-2007 Phoenix Suns

You all seem like really great guys who care about each other, but it seems like some changes will inevitably be happening. I wish everyone the best. While the ultimate goal wasn’t reached, it was awesome fun trying. Thanks and love, Mike.

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