Iím about to crossover into other sports and other leagues for a quick second for this intro, so bear with me.
Before the 2012-13 NBA season started, the Oklahoma Thunder traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin, prospects and draft picks. Harden was in the final year of his contract and the Thunder didnít think they would be able to re-sign him. Instead of keeping him (a top-5 shooting guard in the NBA), they panicked and shipped him off to Houston in an unexpected move. The Thunder lost in the Western Conference Semifinals after making it the to the NBA Finals the season before with Harden playing a major role. Had they kept Harden, one could argue they would have beaten the Grizzlies in the semis, giving them the chance to advance to the Finals to battle the Heat. Sure, they might not have been able to sign Harden, but most fans would have traded losing Harden for the chance to win a title, right?
A team only gets so many opportunities to win a championship. Just ask Charles Barkley.
Just this past week, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said that after 14 seasons with quarterback Peyton Manning, the team wanted to move to Andrew Luck because he was sick of his team losing early in the playoffs and one Super Bowl ring wasnít enough. Itís worth noting, Manning turned the franchise around, made 11 Pro Bowls, won four MVPs and is the teamís all-time leader in wins, touchdowns and yards. And now he has the Denver Broncos off to an undefeated start.
A team shouldnít be upset for winning just one championshipÖ Just ask Dan Marino.
This week, Lea B. Olson emailed me her final blog of the season and in the email she wrote:
ďWhat a great run! Not sure how many more times we can get to the promised land but letís hope a couple more times.Ē
*Also, big thanks to Lea for all of her hard work for us.
ďOkay, Kyle. Youíre 300 words into this thing already and I have no idea what in the world you are talking about. Iíve had to check three times to make sure I was on Lynxbasketball.com and not some blog. Whatís your point here?Ē
Be patient, imaginary reader.
Championships in any sport are difficult to come across. Banners donít just appear in arenas overnight.
(Well, unless you put it up the night before, I guessÖ Then I guess there would have to be an overnight effect to itÖ But you know what Iím saying here. Stop making me feel dumb.)
The Thunder had a trio of the best young players in the league and fell short to the Heat before mistakenly (in my opinion) blowing up their team in a panic trade.
Peyton Manning will go down as one of the top-3 quarterbacks off all-time and was only able to win one title with the Colts.
Lynx fans know all too well. After capturing the 2011 title, the Lynx were heavy favorites in the 2012 Finals against the Indiana Fever. The heavy favoritism was for good reason. Minnesota had Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, Monica Wright and Candice Wiggins.
So, why did the Lynx lose that title? Was it due to a lack of hard work? Was there an attitude problem?
No, of course not. Anyone who has been around the team knows the Lynx work as hard as any team in the league. Coach Cheryl Reeve is one of the smartest coaches in the league. The team just got beat. Thereís no explanation. Sometimes in sports, there is no explanation. Sports donít make sense sometimes.
How did the Twins win the 1987 World Series having just one player hit higher than .285? What about the pitching? Sure, Frank Viola was great, posting a 2.90 ERA, but no other starting pitcher on the team had an ERA better than 4.01.
That doesnít make sense, right?
The Lynx will and should go into next season as the favorites, especially if they can bring back their core. But like 2012, we donít know. Minnesota fans have watched its teams falter time and time again. Maybe instead of looking ahead, we should take a look back. Two titles in three seasons. Three Olympians. Four All-Stars. Likely four WNBA Hall of Famers.
It is human nature, for better or worse, for us to look ahead. What is happening this weekend? What are you doing tomorrow? Whatís next? We always want to know. Lynx fans have already asked what is next for the 2014 season. And I get it; when you win two titles, you want another one. Itís a curse. But like Lea B. said, letís sit back and relax a bit.
No matter what happens in 2014, 2013 was pretty darn special.
Championships donít come very often. When you get one as a player, coach or fan, you need to embrace itÖ at least for a little while.
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