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The NBA Lockout: Mediating an Ugly Divorce

"Its about saying yes to yourself and yes to your future, and have some opportunities for yourself."

-Jeremy Grey

The most common thing about conflict is that the parties involved enter into the situation feeling as though they are correct and the other party is incorrect. Pride is at stake. Precedence, making a stand, a point, establishing themselves as someone who will not be treated like dirt while letting the other party know that they are right.

"You did say that."

"No I did not say that."

"You made me look like a fool in front of all of my friends!"

"Everyone was having a good time. You were laughing!"

"You lied to me."

"No I didn't."

"You'll be stone dead in a moment."

"I feel fine."

At the outset, both parties have the energy and wherewithall to commit to a mean spirited exchange that usually ends up with insults, raised voices, and specific tactics designed to gain victory. We all do it. Play nice guy to your girlfriend, act hurt that she would think you were trying to embarass her in front of friends. Deny you were hammered drunk in front of her family at Thanksgiving: "Nah baby I only had two glasses of wine, and your mom and I bonded."

In the end, one of two things happen. You kiss and make up, or one of you decides: "F this, I'm out."

And so we NBA enthusiasts, specifically Phoenix Suns fans find ourselves witnessing what I see as the ending of a bad marriage. Maybe the season isn't lost, and sure, there will be NBA basketball or some sort of organized professional top tier level of basketball in the future. And so my analogy is flawed when comparing to divorce-it isn't over, forever.

But as a divorcee and a party of an ugly pissing match in which two sides despised one another, wanted to inflict pain on one another, I feel I have the experience to look at the NBA war with a bit of arrogance, and shake my head.

Y'all are only wasting time. What you are fighting for is granular and unimportant.
You are soiling a sport rich in tradition, unbelievable moments,
amazingly physically talented individuals,
heart, soul, love, history;
an institution you did not create.

And I'm also reminded of one of my favorite movies of all time, and one of my favorites scenes of all time (profanity warning):

Wedding Crashers - Beginning (via tco1099)

"You shut your mouth when you're talking to me."


In the scene, a couple on the outs starts their fight KNOWING they will not give in. Yet in the end, they realize, or are persuaded, that what they are fighting for isn't worth it. A compromised is reached. Life goes on. Of course, it is a movie, and the woman did "go comatose" before agreeing to terms with the man. But inevitably, there is a conclusion that both sides are satisfied with.

I am mostly a pacifist. I have a pretty big lazy streak lining my soul as well. Thus, I believe a compromise is always easier than a continued battle. It's healthier on the heart, and it leaves more time for hobbies and creative enterprise like verbally abusing the 11 year old cat that somehow found its way into your home.

The ego can be a very healthy thing-a necessity. Yet it can also be the most destructive and pointless attribute of the human psyche.

A pretty wise man once told me:

"Some wars you are forced to fight. But avoidance is always preferred."

I always thought that was quality advice.

In other news, Mikael Pietrus is hanging out with a bunch of Chinese monks.

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