“Have you ever seen the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ — it is the same story over and over. I told them late that either we were going to change things against this team or we weren’t. All three games this year have been winnable, and we haven’t gotten them. Last year in the playoffs, we each had a blowout, and three games went to the wire, and they won them all” — Stan Van Gundy
Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? I have. It’s pretty good. In fact, the last time I watched it I was in a hotel room in Manila sitting on the end of my bed fulfulling the last of my daily rituals. You see, a strange thing happened to me on that trip. Due to working the wacky sleep-deprived night-shift hours that I was (no I’m not a pimp) I morphed into a zombie-like creature of pure habitual existence – work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep was the mantra. Then, after a few days or perhaps it was ten, I turned on the TV in my mindless state to see Bill Murray staring blankly back at me, disinterested as hell, as if trying to prove his existence was more mind-numbing than my own. I stared back at him, scratched myself, and proceeded to watch the entirety of Groundhog Day sitting on the end of my bed. I have never before, and probably never will, watch an entire movie while sitting on the end of my bed.
The next day a funny thing happened. Work, eat, sleep, work, eat… I jumped into bed to turn on my TV and there was Bill trying kill himself in the bath again. I watched Groundhog Day for the second time in as many days and fell asleep.
On the third day I watched Groundhog Day again, leading to the bizarre yet strangely enjoyable sensation of knowing every imminent line of dialogue and physical action in a movie where the main character was cursed into experiencing the exact same thing. Naturally the feat of watching Groundhog Day three days in a row was self-amusing enough and the thought of retelling the story almost warranted those two lost hours every day. But that wasn’t the reason I was watching. There were two reasons. Firstly, I like the movie and I like Bill Murray. Secondly, I was stuck in my own temporal paradox. My own Groundhog Day. It resonated with me.
So I know how you feel Stan Van Gundy. You can’t snap out of it, no matter how hard you try. You make the playoffs, you get swept. Next year you get a crack while Chauncey is injured, you go down 4-1. You face them without AI, Rip steps in and smashes you. You think you’re in with a shot when Sheed leaves with an early calf injury, you still get beaten. I know how you feel Stan Van Gundy, and I have no consolation for you.
Actually I do. Watch Groundhog Day. It’s the only thing that might keep you sane.