I loved watching House on Fox.
One of my favourite shows on TV wasn't only about medical mysteries, it often was looking at the human condition and how brilliant people work. It also rang true to me because I know how hard it is for people to change.
For House and those around him, his life was largely based on take and take some more. House always found it difficult to change his ways and used his brilliance to fool others. His talent, his ability, and his gifts all made those around him keep hoping for change even though there was none coming.
House was consistently addicted to painkillers and doing whatever he could to necessitate that addiction, that selfishness.
In fact, it wasn't until the final episode that we finally saw House turn the corner. It took all those years of chipping away to fundamentally change who he was.
Unfortunately, I'm not quite willing to give so many chances. In my own life friends over the years have come and gone.
That's largely by choice as I've outgrown people around me, or discovered that the more chances I gave to those who I hoped would change, the more they didn't and simply continued to disappoint me. It took a while with some, but I learned to cut my loses rather than keep on going on for the sake of going on.
It was better for my sanity.
For those friends of mine who actually have changed over the years, I've found a common theme about what necessitates that change.
Change usually comes from some sort of fundamental shift in philosophy, or a new position in life such as graduation or marriage, or some traumatic experience such as a death in the family. For some of my friends, it merely meant going overseas for a year. For others, it meant going into the real world and finding a real job.
For House, it meant knowing that he was going to lose his friend to cancer and facing up to his own mortality.
Most commonly though, all that change had to come from within the individual.
Andrea Bargnani has never really shown that internal growth as a Raptor.
In the days leading up to July 10th, we'll have heard about how the Raptors attempted to do the most to cajole our Italian wonder into action. You'll have heard about personal trainers hired and fired, exceptions made, and switches in philosophy from giving him carte blanche to giving Bargnani tough love.
What should be the common theme is that Bargnani never found a reason or way to motivate himself.
Blame it on his ultra high Caliper Test results if you want.
No, Bryan Colangelo never helped out the situation by how he handled Bargnani. But more importantly, Andrea Bargnani never really did Andrea Bargnani any favours by not changing when opportunities were given.
And yes, for 13 games last year, Bargnani demonstrated that he can do some of the things needed of him when he is motivated to push himself. However, like most people who go on diets only to fall off the deep end again, he returned to even below his statistical mean after his "miraculous change".
In other words, Bargnani returned to being Bargnani.
So I'll tell you a secret.
In all these years that I've been covering the Raptors for the HQ, I was probably the one who was most indifferent about Bargnani. Others like Defensive Stance could write an entire Encyclopedia Britannica volume on their hate of Bargs, but for myself, I stopped caring a long time ago.
Be useful to the team, fine. Be not useful to the team, I wasn't going to expend energy writing about it.
Especially since our comments would solely focus on the two sentences that were written about Bargnani and ignore the entire rest of the game summary.
It was not interesting anymore, especially since it was the same old act that we've been seeing for years now. Comments wise, everyone was tired of rehashing the same ol' subjects.
"What can we do to light a fire under him?"
"What can we trade him for, since his stock is going down?"
"We need to bench him badly."
"We need to make him take shots inside and shoot him in the leg if he takes any shot outside the arc."
"Why can't he go back to those 13 games again?"
Worst yet, Bargnani completely messed up the way the Raptors have been positioning themselves to take 3 point shots.
Remember back in 2006-2007 when the majority of the Raptors threes were coming off of Anthony Parker corner shots, or Mo Pete "MP3 downloads"?
Since then, the majority of Raptor 3-point shots have come from the top of the arc, where you-know-who always took them.
I remember how in the next few seasons how Anthony Parker drifted out to the top of the arc more and more to take some of his three pointers. It seemed like the schemes designed to get Bargnani his shots would get applied to everyone for simplicity's sake.
For those as a part of the New York Knicks organization, they can maybe get Bargnani to return to the 13 games that he displayed here two seasons ago. If they do, all the more power to them. They managed to find something to click in him where we have failed. There's no shame in that.
He wasn't going to learn what he needed to here, under these circumstances.
But for all of us, we're just glad that we now only have to talk about Bargnani maybe four times a year.
That's truly the greatest gift of all.