Sixteen fortunate teams begin the second season with renewed purpose tomorrow. But for all the downtrodden who didn't qualify for the playoffs, this is a time of reflection, a time to take inventory and figure out what went wrong. Many will look in the mirror today and think "Man, I really blew it this time. FML."
While his former Bullets mates Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood prepare for meaningful games, Inmate Zero sits in a halfway house (no word yet on whether it's climate controlled), left to ponder the incredibly stupid decision to engage Javaris Crittendon in a firearm contest.
Memphis didn't work. Philly didn't work. Then his marriage didn't work. Now The Answer doesn't work. Bad bad bad year for AI.
One season? The Thief Of Baghdad (Chick's nickname for him) never had a chance. He couldn't play uptempo with tree sloth Elton Brand in the lineup and he couldn't play slow because that team has no shooters. So when they lost (duh!), the team blamed the coach. Again. Consider this: whoever's hired next will be Philly's eighth coach in ten seasons.
The Mike Dunleavys
Senior saw his number one overall pick, Blake Griffin, go down for the year before playing a single game. Then he got fired from not one but two jobs. Junior was injured himself for much of the year but when he did play, he was lousy enough to barely see the court on a dreadful team. When you're white and can't get PT in Indiana, you know you suck.
Brutal team. Injuries. And when he was healthy, he had to listen to Donny Boozeface rip him in the press every day for being such an abysmal free throw shooter (16%!!!). Did anyone have a less enjoyable campaign than Goose? Silver lining: slightly better haircut (see below).
So, thankfully, mercifully, the season is finally over for you unfortunate souls. I'm reminded of the time Nick Van Exel yelled "Cancun" instead of "defense" as the Lakers' season was winding down. Love Nick The Quick. My man.
And for you lucky winners, enjoy the playoffs. Maybe even sip the bubbly and kiss the trophy. Whatever happens, savor this time in the spotlight because next year, it could be you everyone's laughing about. For real.
Pictured: Goose lays eggs on 5 out of 6 of these, usually