Monday, May 15, 2006

One Game At A Time, One Day At A Time

.:One Game At A Time, One Day At A Time:.

After an astounding shot in Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs of 2006, NBA's Kobe Bryant thumped his chest and pulled at his shirt to express his joy over pulling ahead of Steve Nash's Phoenix Suns and putting the latter into a 3-1 hole, which 93% of the time spells the end for the team on the “1” side of things.

In the second round, Lebron James and his Cavaliers found themselves up against what many assume to be the best team in the league: the Detroit Pistons. In the first game, the Pistons slaughtered the Cavs: the Cavs lost by a margin that almost tied the franchise record for the worst blowout they have ever been party to in the playoffs, losing by around 22 points.

One thing I learned about basketball from watching the NBA is that everyone needs to take things one game at a time.

Emboldened by the 3-1 advantage, it appeared as if the Lakers became a completely different team, and for the worse. Except for Kobe, who naturally played like Kobe, everyone else was completely off. While Kobe tried to find the open man, the open man simply couldn't hit the shot. Yes, I'm looking at you guys, Smush and Kwame. That being said, the next three games saw loss after heartbreaking loss for the Lakers, all the way to Game 7, where many of Phil Jackson's amazing playoff records were shattered. Phil Jackson experienced his first Game 7 loss, his first playoff first round loss, among other things.

Clearly, the Lakers didn't take it one game at a time.

Currently in a 0-2 hole as of this writing, the Cavaliers are still taking things one game at a time. While everyone and their mother writes the Cavs off already, that's no reason for them to stop trying to eke out a win. You see, whether the Pistons win by 2 points or by 50, the Pistons won only one game. Those 50 points don't carry over to the next game. They mean jack and crap except for that one game. And that's a good thing. Essentially, that means that if they take things one game at a time, their chances will always be the same at doing better than they did last time out, and while they still lost, the Cavs definitely didn't take the first loss to heart, as they lost by a significantly smaller margin.

So far, the Cavs are taking it one game at a time.

I've been through a lot of low points in my life, and I think it's no secret that I'm still facing a tempest at this very moment. Although realizations have somewhat eased the pain, particularly when we began to realize that only one truly was serious, while the other was just a case of puppy affection, the pain still remains. Through it, I began to understand why the Divine never wanted to have anything to do with me again, but in turn, made me realize that I don't have to do the same thing.

One day at a time. Today might be a miserable day, tomorrow might be a miserable day, but more often than not, the misery “points” of this day aren't enough basis to carry over to the next. If you absolutely must break that rule, carry the happy “points” of today over to the next, but not the misery.

It's easier said than done, but I can't help but see how utterly relevant this line of thinking is to me. I've overlooked thinking of things this way for the longest time, and now is as good a time as any to change that. That change, like most any other long-term thing in my life, has to come, one day at a time. It's a challenge to me, it's a challenge to anyone who lets negativity way his life down. Would you rather be like the Lakers and blow a 3-1 series by not taking things one day at a time, or would you rather be the Suns in that exact series?

One thing I learned about life from watching the NBA is that everyone needs to take things one day at a time.

I'll find my smile somehow, somewhere, someday. I'll search for it. One day at a time.

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