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Time Travel as a Basketball Fan

There are two schools of thought into time travel (at least when it comes to movies)- First is the romanticized version of time travel, as depicted in movies like “Back 2 the Future” – travelers have the ability to change the past, which ultimately changes everything else from there on. Marty goes back to his parents' high school prom, spills crap on the bully, and his dad winds up a successful science fiction writer. The other version of time travel is not as pleasant. The other depiction shows characters as being able to go back in time and be part of the past, but this had already happened, so the present/future does not change. In 12 Monkeys, James Cole goes back in time, realizes who spreads the virus that will ultimately wipe out most of the human race, and dies unable to do anything about it.

Being a sports fan is more like being James Cole. As fans, we look at moves made in the past and see ways to correct them or better them. As Bobcats fans, that is what we are dealing with right now. Sean May's injury has created a new “virus” that we feel the need to go back and stop: The Bobcats should have kept Jake Voskuhl or signed Darko Milicic instead of Matt Carroll. Or a step earlier in the summer, the team should not have traded Brandon Wright for Jason Richardson, opting for Joakim Noah instead to establish better backcourt depth. Or maybe we want to travel all the way back to the 2005 draft and never draft Sean May at all, instead opting for David Lee (there are a lot of franchises regretting that particular oversight though). The thing is, living in the past does not do us any good. Just like it seemed to be driving James insane, it can do the same to fans (hopefully not literally, but in a figurative sense).

Instead, what matters is to take what lessons we can from the past and apply them going forward. In the case of Sean May, the Bobcats made a solid decision in drafting him. He has shown the abilities of being a very good NBA player, when healthy. He has also shown so far that he cannot stay healthy, so the Bobcats were foolish to not account for this contingency. Now, if anyone happens to have a copy of a sports almanac from the future, then consider my aversion to revisionist history abated and please send me a copy so that I can get to work as a GM.

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