Joe-Pinions: Sports

9 Mar 2011 – Why Not Enjoy the Here and Now (or, why be afraid of what MIGHT happen)?

Posted in Basketball by txtmstrjoe on 09/03/2011

Yes, yes, yes, the Lakers are dominating the NBA right now.  They’ve won all eight of their games since the All Star break, and they’ve done so with the emergence of the player who I not-so-facetiously have called the Lakers’ MVP:  Andrew Bynum.

Now, I’m not daft.  I’m not saying he’s the Lakers’ best player.  Right now, that’s Kobe Bryant.  Pau Gasol is probably next on that hierarchy.  But the young Bynum is, to me, the linchpin, the fulcrum around which the Lakers’ championship hopes revolves.  Everything hinges on the play of an effective Andrew Bynum.

Astonishingly, though, despite the Lakers’ impressive run of success keyed by Bynum’s renewed dedication to doing the dirty work that gets things done – rebounding and defense – and less personal emphasis on getting touches on offense, I still keep hearing whispers of discontent.  There are still people who seemingly can’t enjoy how the team is winning these days, people who apparently only want to rehash old stories and look back on what may be historical facts, but are still not particularly relevant to the present time.

I’m speaking, of course, of that segment of Lakers fans who apparently are still waiting for Bynum to get injured sometime between now and the end of the season and therefore get removed from the lineup.  Believe it or not, there are people who, instead of congratulating the young center for figuring things out and playing his heart out and helping his team ascend from the mire of mediocrity and declare themselves as legitimate challengers for this year’s NBA championship, are waiting for what they seem to think is the inevitable.

Negativism of that sort is so stupid.

I guess I feel that citing history is fine and dandy, but to speculate and project the past into the future is a fool’s exercise.  I mean, what’s the point of anticipating that kind of scenario?  Until something catastrophic actually becomes a reality in the present, it’s nothing but a very negative kind of wishful thinking.

Now, one of the maxims I live by is “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”  But it seems to me that there are too many people who live by a corrupted version of this philosophy:  Such people “Prepare for the worst, because that’s what we think will happen.”

That’s asinine in the extreme.  And that kind of stupidity just pisses me off.

If I’ve learned one thing from Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, it’s this little nugget of Zen philosophy:  Live in the moment.  Concentrate on the here and now, do your best at whatever you’re doing at this present moment, and the rest takes care of itself.

Looking at anything else other than what’s directly in front of you only means you’ve taken your mind off what you’re doing, what’s happening right now.  And that’s when people usually get in trouble.

Do Lakers fans actually wish for Bynum to become hurt again and be unable to help the team go where we (the real fans, the ones who want nothing but the best for this team) want them to?  What’s the point in wanting that?  So you fools can be right because so many of you have been wishing for the team to get rid of Bynum?  That’s stupidity of an extreme sort, the kind for which I have absolutely no tolerance.

How would these so-called fans react if Andrew Bynum basically plays out his entire career the way he’s played these last few excellent games, stays healthy, and the Lakers win games and championships?  Will they continue to hold whatever grudge they do against the big man?  Will they still want to trade him away?

Why is Bynum so under-appreciated by so many people?

Why does it seem that only me, my dad, and people like Mark Heisler of the L.A. Times, Scott Howard-Cooper (he used to be an L.A. Times reporter; he now works for NBA.com), and other rational basketball people seem to see Bynum’s great value?

I’ve long been saying that there’s a reason why Bynum is always the player other teams want when they talk trade with the Lakers.  Why would you ever want to give up what the other teams, the opposition to your team’s goals and aspiration, the enemy, as it were, want so dearly?

Why not just enjoy the here and now?  Why be afraid of what may not happen and focus on the negative?

Why not just enjoy the Lakers winning?

Why not just keep on hoping for the best?

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