I have been a fan, and I’ve been an owner. I have never been a professional player.
But I can tell you, I have certainly watched enough professional basketball players over the years to get a pretty good idea of how they feel when they and their team are in a slump (putting it mildly!).
We went through periods similar to this one a number of times when my husband Abe and I owned the teams, and I can tell you, IT IS NOT FUN!
So, what have I learned from all of those experiences?
The fans suffer.
They come to the games with high hopes; pay for their tickets, pay for parking and snacks, settle into their seats, wave to their friends. And, each time the ball goes the wrong way, they groan, then they get angry, they yell at the coach, they yell at the general manager …..and then they yell at the owner. “I’m never coming to another game,” they are thinking out loud.
The owner is sort of in a similar position.
They don’t pay for the tickets or parking but they do settle in their seat, they do wave to their friends, and they do groan every time a player misses a shot. Not again!!!!!!!!!!!! The agony of what else can I do? I’ve tried everything!
And fans are yelling at me.
But, after all the years of experience, I think it is the players who suffer the most.
No matter how bad it is for the rest of us, it is the players who must come through and deliver when they are down. It is the players who must battle through the frustration and it is them that I admire the most. I have watched them come to game after game, after practice after practice, and do what they can and then not able to “make it happen.”
The world of professional sports is a lot like life. You have only so much control. You just have to battle it through. What we as fans – and owners — need to do is to keep supporting these guys who are playing their guts out. They need to feel the support, and I know they do. I used to ask some of our players how they did that, how they played through bad streaks like this. They definitely feel the support the fans are giving them.
So my advice to all you Wizards fans out there; keep up the support! The players are professionals; they will do their best.
Hang in, hang on and keep supporting them no matter how difficult it is. It will get better believe it or not!