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Summer Lessons From the NBA

This is a post about the NBA – that’s the National Basketball Association for the uninitiated – but it’s not about basketball. As we push into August, even casual sports fans know that the NBA won July. For a sport that wrapped up it’s championship on June 13th and should have been a footnote by June 20th, that’s quite the accomplishment.

The NBA owned sports news – and a chunk of the regular media – right through July. The draft. Free agents. Trades. Surprising signings. Shocking signings. Surprising and shocking trades. The NBA had it all. Fans cheered, pundits were fully employed, fans cried, click bait ran wild. The NBA was great theater.

When all was said and done the normally unassuming Clippers looked daunting; the Rockets had the last two MVP’s in the same backcourt (presumably, however, they will be forced to play with one ball); the Knicks were still the Knicks; the Nets were set to take over New York in 2020; the Pelicans were bursting with youth, and … well, it goes on.

Teams revamped in a ‘win now’ way, teams tanked to get next year’s best draft picks. Almost every team in the league fits into one of those two categories headed into August and training camps.

But not the Boston Celtics. The Boston Celtics are almost exactly where they were a year ago. And the year before that. And the year before that.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You see – and, yes, we’re getting near the ‘what does this have to do with divorce’ payoff – going back to the early 2010’s Boston had a plan. The Celtics were suddenly mediocre and the Celtic brand is hardly built on .500 seasons. The Celtics were miserable being mediocre. It was unproductive, there was no upside, fans were restless, every season looked and felt the same.

So, they planned for a better future. They traded off good players for future draft picks from bad teams. Draft picks from bad teams are great picks to have because bad teams pick first. The acumen the Celtics showed in spinning off players and accumulating picks became the stuff of legend. They planned and traded and traded and planned and by the summer of 2017 they were just about there – both in terms of their roster and the picks they would have in June 2019. The kind of picks that, if it went the way they had so carefully planned, would find the Celtics back to their dynastic ways.

It didn’t happen. It all crashed down. Their superstar was a superstar talent with all the maturity of a three year old. Those bad teams that owed the Celtics their draft picks suddenly weren’t bad anymore and the picks were worthless. They had one shot at a top pick and the lottery ping pong balls betrayed them.

When the smoke cleared, right around July 15th, the Boston Globe’s postmortem on the Celtics was terse and to the point: “The Celtics were so focused on the future they missed the present.”

That’s our message today. We work with people in every stage of the divorce process. Sometimes we met with a client-to-be years before they decide to file for divorce. That’s YEARS.

Oft times there are good reasons for the delay. And, sometimes it’s what we’re now going to call the ‘Celtic Syndrome’.

The symptom: “I’m going to arrange that and move this and take care of that other thing while planning for x . . . then I’ll be all ready to get that divorce on July 22, 2020.”

This, that, and the other thing almost never happen when and as expected. Perfect timing is a saying because it’s such a rare thing. Before you know it, you get to July 22, 2020, in the same place you were before, only somewhere in between you missed the year.

The cure is to act.

Call us. That’s the first step in insuring you don’t miss the present.

Written by Meghan Freed