Gordon Hayward Is Not the Answer to Your Problems

Posted by Phil Bryan on April 27, 2022

977E4C6A D238 4BF2 ABED 012CCFC4FB44 1 201 aI like basketball. Recently, while looking at some news on ESPN, I saw a rumor that the Los Angeles Lakers were considering a trade package to send Russell Westbrook out to the Hornets in exchange for a package that centered around the acquisition of Gordon Hayward. As a Celtics fan who lived through the disappointing Gordon Hayward/Kyrie Irving era, I feel confident in reiterating the title here: Gordon Hayward is not the answer to your problems.

On paper, the Lakers couldn’t be a better team. Anchored by three future Hall of Fame candidates, and with a supporting cast coming off the bench that is better than most teams, it makes no sense that they aren’t consistently showing up in the playoffs, and even making it to the Finals. And yet, they aren’t.

You may be wondering, why are we talking about basketball? How does this relate to my process and my family’s work? That answer is actually fairly simple. In conversations with both parents and my clients (the team), there is often a similar theme. The focus has become external; finding a “fix” for existing problems or things that are happening to you without recognizing your own agency in or level of responsibility toward the WHY these things are happening.

When both sides adopt a viewpoint of “these are things that are happening to me” versus “here is a situation wherein my attitudes and actions can affect an outcome that I want,” the dialogue and process between the two parties can stall out, become ineffective, or even fail to be meaningful. This can manifest in a lot of observable ways, ranging from unsatisfying letter exchanges, hyper-focusing on past negatives, and hurt feelings. Failing to be solution-oriented and putting the onus for the “team’s” improvement all on one person often leads to this.

At Evoke, we are an attachment-based and family-oriented program. We ask a lot of the parents of our wilderness clients, and the amount of work and engagement expected is high because based on our extensive experience and research, we know that parents who do their own work have a direct effect on their creating a secure attachment with their child, and also a ripple effect on their child’s mental health, let alone their own.

This circles back to our basketball analogy. Before the Lakers move to replace a core element of their franchise, have they really examined their own strengths and weaknesses? Do they know who they are as a team? Is everyone on the same page about the goal? It is hard to imagine this is not the case, and yet the results are not there in the way I believe they all want. In your family, have you examined your own values and core beliefs? Is everyone on the same page about it? If everyone hasn’t identified/is not working toward the same goal, no matter how hard the individuals are striving, the goal can’t be reached.

In family life, this often requires give and take on both sides, as well as potential compromise about the goal. When envisioning your relationship with your child when they are an adult, what stands out to you as really important? As the “ideal-to-real” lens gets applied, what are you attached to and what can you let go of in the interest of compromise and giving that level of increased autonomy that your child desires, and hopefully you desire for them?

While writing this, I just got a text from my dad saying that the Celtics have just swept the Brooklyn Nets. How did this happen? Well, the focus of the Celtics has always been team play, the group over the individual. I hope this is the focus of your family work as well. Good luck to your team as you work through this process, and whatever is next.


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