Even though the Wizards aren’t yet mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the current mood of Wizards fans is somewhere between depressed and suicidal. Everywhere you look, on #WizardsTwitter, Facebook fan groups, Wizards blogs, or the team subreddit, fans are calling for the heads of management, threatening ending their fandom, and writing off our young stars. This is understandable after a season that started with great expectations but is ending with large regressions. Even I, who recently put out ideas for coping with the pain, am having trouble not hopping on the bandwagon of dismay. But I think it’s gone too far. Being a fan is supposed to be about having fun. And there’s a risk that this negativity will carry into next season and divide our fan base. So in the interest of sending out some positive vibes, here are some reasons we Wizards fans should still be looking on the bright side:
We have young stars: John Wall will be 26 at the start of next season and Bradley Beal will be 23. Both players have a lot of room to grow, but they also have time to get there. Hopefully after this year of disappointment they’ll attack the offseason with a invigorated spirit and come back next season as better players and leaders.
We’ve been through much worse: In times like these it’s helpful to have some perspective. This season has surely been letdown, but at least we have expectations at all. Just a few years ago, our season was over before the All Star break each year and there was no reason to watch a Wizards game in April except for Shaqtin A Fool moments. Personally, I’d rather experience a disappointment than be numb to losing altogether.
Next season will be the pivotal year: Ernie’s plan (if you can call it that) was always to position the team to make big moves this summer. This past season was a bridge year. Obviously, it would’ve been better to win in the interim, but at least there’s hope that we bring in a few big name free agents and arm the team for next year.
We still have great playoff basketball to watch: There’s nothing better than watching your team in an NBA playoff series. But if you can’t have that, the next best thing is competitive and interesting playoff series. With the Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, and Cavaliers, there are surely going to be some good games to watch and riveting storylines to digest.
This is a short list and I’ll admit that it was hard to even come up with these four things to be positive about. Still, the point is that we should stay positive and enjoy our team. We’re not moving on to the playoffs like we expected, but can still have fun pulling for our squad in these last few games. I have seats in the section behind the Wizards bench for the final game against Atlanta, and I was seriously tempted to come with a sign calling out Randy and prepared to boo. But that’s not the type of fan I want to be. Instead, I’m bringing a positive attitude and a sign to congratulate John on a good individual season. That’s what we’re supposed to do as fans: be supportive of our team through the good AND the bad.