The shot fell through the net with 53.3 seconds left, putting the Cavs up by 3. Had he missed it, Golden State would have been able to dictate the final minute on their home floor with a championship on the line. But the “What if?” game doesn’t do much for him. As his Twitter bio states, “Fear is not real.”
“Whether it be people being scared of what other people are going to think or scared of what the outcome will be — the unknown is always scary for people,” Irving explains. “I get it. But for me, I wanted to put it out to not only people that support me but just people who understand life. Not just to the game of basketball. Fear isn’t real. It’s just a product of our imagination. We’re thinking about scenarios and we just end up scaring ourselves from opportunities. For me, it was just about always furthering self-awareness, self-acceptance, being better for myself so I can be better for the world. That was the most important thing. And fear was stopping me.
“It was always thinking about what people were going to say. What people were going to think about me afterwards and me making my decisions. If you live your life based on that, you drive yourself crazy. You’re trying to be better for other people, rather than be better for yourself. So, that was a big, big thing for me to express that message that this is a guy over here — I’m very flawed. I make mistakes all the time. But I’m not afraid to make those mistakes or be flawed. So, that fear is all gone. I’m not afraid of almost any situation or anything that I’m in. I feel like as I continue to prepare as a man for life, then I’ll be prepared for anything.”
In many ways, the brain’s capacity to withstand sorrow benefited Cubs fans.
THERE’S A CUBS fan named Stuart Shea. In 1969, he moved to Chicago and, at age 7, became an everyday fan. Answering the question of whether it has been a happy experience is complicated.
Happiness is an ambiguous word. Some psychologists actually shy away from it, referring to “hedonic well-being” — a jargony synonym that describes attaining pleasure and avoiding pain, eating cotton candy and kissing your prom date and so on.
But research has shown we quickly get complacent after any positive event and return to our baselines: the “hedonic treadmill” theory. An example from the stands: A study that asked football fans to predict how they would feel if their team won the next game found they overestimated, by a lot.