In basketball, people have their favorite players but one should not cling to that player forever because that player never plays forever.
How does one cope with their favorite player/ superstar decline?
It is a very difficult time in a fans life when they favorite athlete declines in skill and production, due to aging and/or injury problems. At first you believe they are just in a funk, and their production will get back to normal. You find your self constantly defending in heated discussions (You are ready to go upside some-one’s head like that’s your sibling they’re insulting) After coming close to blows in these shouting matches, you come to the harsh reality their greatness has come to a sobering halt.
I have sadly been through this agonizing process myself with my favorite player Tracy McGrady. I have been a McGrady fan since his days with the Orlando Magic. When he joined the Magic in the ‘00-’01 season his scoring average jumped to 26.8 PPG from 15.4 PPG with the Toronto Raptors the prior season. I remember his 62 point game against the Washington Wizards in his ’03-’04 season, his last with the Orlando Magic. Now one of my fondest moments in Tracy McGrady’s career was on December 9, 2004. It was his first year with the Houston Rockets (Of course I was a Rockets fan now). My cousin from across the pond (England if you didn’t get that one. But of course you did. I won’t tell anyone) to visit us in New York. During this time he tried to convince me of the “hype” of football (soccer). He even got me to watch a football in its entirety. In this game McGrady put on an astonishing performance. The Rockets were on the brink of a demoralizing home loss. McGrady put on a show scoring 13 points in 35 seconds. McGrady made four threes during his scoring tear, including a four-point play. With that performance he single handily snatched the win from the San Antonio Spurs. That night I won the argument of Basketball v. Football (Soccer) with my cousin. Then on top of all the back problems throughout his career, McGrady has shoulder and knee injuries. On February 18, 2010 McGrady is traded to the New York Knicks. Now I’m ecstatic. My favorite player on my
So now you have came to the realization that your Superstar just isn’t the same. What do you do about it? I have two solutions:
As cruel and shallow as it sounds, you leave them for a younger even better player. Just like in any relationship, if you are not benefiting from it, you are in all rights to leave said relationship. Now it takes a strong individual to just throw away all the memories you had, and it is even harder to form a new relationship. But you have to move on to get over the pain. Now you have to be careful in choosing the new player. Now first instincts would tell you to choose a player with a similar game and skill set as the predecessor. I don’t suggest this cause it makes it harder for you to let go. I say chose a player with a different skills set so you can have a different fan experience. It helps you appreciate different aspects of the game and enhances your total love for the game.
My second solution is to just stick to following a team. It protects you from ever being disappointed by another declining player. If you are following a team your commitment to the players only last as long as the players play for said team. It is the best way to never go through the agonizing pain of losing your favorite player to injuries or old age.