Finally, the misery for the Washington Wizards has ended after the 82 games.
Historically, most teams ending the season on a similar low note are cognizant that they have still have a long way to go before being contenders. Of course, there are a few exceptions (think '96-97 Spurs, but not the '06-07 Celtics since Garnett didn't fall in their lap until August).
But these Wizards are different. Ironically, injuries have bred optimism for the future...hopes and assumptions that the franchise will propel right back into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference, provided they give a good kick in the teeth to the Curse O Les Boulez.
Then again, such hope for a sub-20 win team might have worked to the squad's detriment. They weren't clawing and scratching like a young team building for the future while being aware that mounting losses are inevitable.
Rather, the Wizards often played like a team that wasn't supposed to be there, a team being held against their will. They decided to give up unity and either play for themselves, or play "hero" ball.
Not to say this epidemic was prevalent for every game on the schedule, the effort of some individuals throughout the season was admirable. But with 19 wins, it's clear that team focus was lacking on most nights, missing several key soldiers in the foxhole notwithstanding.
Sure this season set the Wiz back in the record books, but did it also resurrect the culture of losing we all thought was dormant?
Such questions still weigh down the assumptions of improvement, and we won't know the answers until next season when the new regime attempts to flip the team philosophy.
But for today, gone are the perplexed looks on Ed Tapscott's face. Gone is Antawn Jamison's warrior-like mentality as his 32-year old body aged another year. Gone are the frustrated fans. Gone is the '08-09 season, hopefully never to return again.