May 1, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum. The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 104-84. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

All or Nothing: The NBA's Worst Kept Secret

The modern fan sees themselves more wearing a tie than a jersey.

We are at an impasse. Leaguewide nihilism has brutally taken hold. It’s all or nothing. You win the big one, or lose in despicable fashion. Good is not great. Great is not best. It’s a symptom of society as a whole. It’s no longer about making the playoffs, entire squadrons are being shaped to tank. To lose. A losing revolution. Let’s play NBA Roulette and maybe, just maybe, you might win the next unknown draft pick! We’ve collectively decided the present is just not quite quality enough.

In fact it’s not worth mentioning, we can simply delay till next year. If everyone stays healthy and we simply lose out the year we’ll have a much better shot next year. Then next year arrives, the fledgling greenhorn isn’t working out and well let’s forfeit just one more year. Before you know it, ten years have passed. Potential injuries incurred along the way. Your fanbase should show nothing but sour faces and grotesque disgust at all the lies and office ineptitude, but they don’t.

In fact, the modern fan sees themselves more wearing a tie than a jersey. They vote an emphatic YES on being given an inferior product year after year, just so they can keep the fictional narrative of winning the big one alive. A sense of delayed satisfaction perhaps? Or delay period. The agony of now traded for the so-called mitigated pleasure of the future. Losing is easy. Crafting a team to make the playoffs is not. It’s the NBA’s worst kept secret.

General managers have run the fib of future to perfection like snake oil conmen. Even team owners are left bewildered and confused to their charm. Then comes the dollar signs. Not from Jersey or ticket sales but rather saving money not donating to the luxury tax fund. It’s appeal too strong, luxury tax holding them at bay like alien kryptonite. Which is what teams consider potential MLE candidates, alien. A foreign concept. If it’s not Lebron, what’s the point?

By this attitude, the Spurs could have laid down the first game of the most recent Finals. Fans love the frame. Why do anything? Making the playoffs and losing is frowned upon. So much so, the term ‘treadmill team’ was coined. Losing in the playoffs might as well be purgatory.

Losing might gain the next big thing, but it also retains the status quo year after year. Unless a gallant knight comes rushing in to save the day. The same talent that could have potentially been signed in free agency. The seduction of the unknown young talent is too strong for both the fan and GM. They are now one.

Look at the team you’re reading the fansite of right now. Have there been any extravagant moves other than not retaining Rudy Gay? Have they gotten better the last three years? Is the tandem of Gasol/Randolph better or the same as it was back in the Western Conference Finals days? The Memphis Grizzlies one constant is success. For a small market, the terms of success are not an option. They are a survival requirement.

On the merry-go-round we go, chasing but never pursuing. Have you enjoyed the last few years of Memphis basketball? Were they worth it? It all depends on your viewpoint of the NBA’s worst kept secret. All or Nothing.

Tags: Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies NBA News Zach Randolph

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