Zach Attacks: The luck of rebuilding

Timing is everything.

We’ve all heard that cliché before. One of my favorite examples of showing this is the movie Love and Sex. To answer the question forming in your head right now, it is NOT porn. It’s a movie starring Jon Favreau and Famke Janssen as two people who are trying to figure out the relationship world.

What’s so great about the movie is its ability to show just how awkward the process of getting to know the person you’re dating can be. Most people can be uncomfortable getting to know the intimate history of their significant other. Insecurity can shine through like the dead lights from It as soon as you find out the number of people your boyfriend/girlfriend has slept with. You can either decide to accept the past as the past or you can worry exactly how you measure up to those that were there before you.

Some people simply don’t care. It’s just a way of breaking the ice and getting through the maladroit moments quickly. You find out what everybody is bashfully curious about and move on with actually getting to know that person. Sex can be such a loaded part of everybody’s past because it introduces an awareness that you may have to live up to or exceed past expectations.

In this movie, Famke Janssen is the person who just wants to get the issue out of the way and Jon Favreau is the one that is constantly consumed by each other’s number. She asks him before they’ve even started dating, within hours of just meeting Favreau. Her number is quite bigger than his. She’s slept with 13 men and he’s only slept with two women. The disparity in “life experience” is something that he’s always reminding himself of. It’s a threat of inadequacy when really he shouldn’t ever focus on this at all.

Because of this and other occurrences in their relationship, they eventually break up and decide to just be friends. They watch each other go on with their lives and attempt to date other people while still holding onto this residual mystique of their past relationship with each other.

At one point in the movie, Favreau’s character is consoling Janssen’s character after another relationship has fallen apart in her life. She wonders why they didn’t work out together and if some people are destined to be alone. He responds with:

Two people can be perfect for each other but if the timing’s wrong it’s never going to work out. Bad timing is the reason that most normal people end up single. Weirdos and creeps are single cause they are weird and creepy but people like us are single because of bad timing. 

Bad timing is a great way to look at why some relationships fall apart. You may be perfect for someone you’ve dated, but if you entered each other’s lives at the wrong time, it’s possible that the life of the relationship is quite limited due to extenuating circumstances.

When you’re rebuilding an NBA team, timing is also everything. A lot of it takes smart cap management, knowing when to jettison high-priced veterans, and not giving away long-term contracts to guys who are going to make you regret it halfway through the deal. But the biggest aspect of rebuilding a team could be how lucky you are for when you have top selections in the draft.

For teams like the Thunder, Spurs, Magic, and others, it took extremely fortuitous years of birth and circumstances of failure to give them the gift of future franchise players falling into their laps. If David Robinson doesn’t get injured in the 96-97 season, they would have never been in a position to tank and end up with Tim Duncan. By the Celtics having two draft selections in the top five that year and neither of them being the first pick, they had to wait nearly a decade until they were rebuilt into a serious title contender.

For the Thunder, if Kevin Durant’s inability to enter the NBA draft out of high school and Greg Oden’s selection before him in the draft allowed one of the best superstars in the league to wind up on their roster. The Magic benefitted from getting back-to-back number one picks that netted them Shaquille O’Neal and eventually Penny Hardaway. 10 years later, Dwight Howard deciding to not attend a year or two of college netted them the eventual best big man in the NBA.

When LeBron left the state of Cleveland basketball in ruin, the Cavaliers were immediately hell-bent on rebuilding. In their owner’s warped sense of reality, they were in a race with LeBron to get to the title before he could, and that was all that mattered. Unfortunately for Cleveland, this process began the year before the lockout hit the NBA. Because of the lockout and no guarantee of when the season would actually start, a very talented crop of future NBA players decided to skip the 2011 draft and wait for 2012. This didn’t bode well for them since they ended up with the first and fourth picks in the 2011 draft.

Obviously, it’s hard to pretend the NBA could ever exist in a vacuum, but had they been able to rebuild a year earlier, they would have ended up at a chance of John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors in 2010. If this happened a year later, they’d have a chance at Anthony Davis and maybe someone like Quincy Miller.

Instead, they had to settle for Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. For some fans, they don’t mind because it’s kind of a ridiculous thing to lament over. They never had a real chance at those scenarios with the way things shook out for them. And ending up with Irving and Thompson might not exactly be a bad thing. While it may seem improbable, it’s still possible this tandem ends up being more successful in the league together than either of the other scenarios would have yielded.

However, if this draft class goes the way of the Kenyon Martin-Mike Miller draft class and doesn’t really produce a franchise player to hang your hat on, the Cavs will have received the short end of the rebuilding stick. The Cavs can only play with the hand they’ve been dealt and sometimes the other guys at the table are just dealt better cards.

It may be cliché but for the Cavs’ rebuilding process, it looks like timing is everything.

Related posts:

  1. Zach Attacks: In NBA, dynasty builds you
  2. Zach Attacks: It’s not you… it’s both of us
  3. Zach Attacks: How to Succeed in Los Angeles Without Really Trying
  4. Zach Attacks: So now what do you do?
  5. Zach Attacks: Shiny objects

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