Same teams, different season/outcome in NBA finals

Date Published: 
June, 20, 2014

As I noted last week, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with this year’s NBA finals matchup, based off the notion that the sequel is never quite as good as the original. However, the Spurs and the Heat showed us what a difference a year can make — not only in basketball but in sports in general and, really, in life.

Last year, I had just quit a job in Baltimore that was making me miserable — basically on a whim — and headed for the beach. Despite telling myself I knew what I was doing — I didn’t. I was a 27-year-old bartender with no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I did, however, know what I didn’t want — which at the time wasn’t quite enough.

But, sure enough, here I am just a year later, with a new sense of purpose, enjoyment and the best job I’ve ever had. [Editor’s note: It sounds like Tripp may be anticipating his annual revue.]

Just last year, the Heat were celebrating their second consecutive NBA title, while the Spurs walked off the court in disbelief. But, sure enough, there the Spurs are, just a year later, with an NBA championship, and there the Heat are — waiting until next year for another chance at one.

The St. Louis Rams went from 4-12 in 1998 to Super Bowl XXXIV Champions in 1999. The Boston Celtics went from 24-58 in the 2006-2007 season to 66-16 in 2007-2008. After their worst season in 60 years, the Auburn Tigers made a BCS National Championship appearance just a year later. Shaun Alexander went from NFL MVP to a non-factor, again, just a year later.

But that’s why we watch sports. There was a point where it looked like the New England Patriots weren’t going to lose another game, let alone another Super Bowl — but they haven’t won once since before their “imperfect season.” I never thought we’d stop hearing about Chad Ochocinqo, but I haven’t seen him in a poorly acted cameo appearance in years.

No one thought that Gordan Bombay and the Mighty Ducks could ever beat Team Iceland in “D2,” but sure enough, Julie “The Cat” Gaffney saved the day — I think… I definitely remember that they won and that they somehow vaguely managed to explain why the old guy who sharpened all the skates was played by a different actor and every movie.

Just a year later… This is why we watch NBA finals rematches and why gambling is called gambling and why sports movies are so awesome. Any team in any sport at any level has a chance to win any game, or turn things around in any season. This year’s NBA finals rematch was proof of that. I wonder what the next 365 days will change for next year’s NBA finals…