Stage One: Denial

Game 7: Heat 95, Spurs 88.

This can not be happening. This isn’t real. We were up 5 with 28 seconds left in Game 6. I will never forget these details, even when I’m struck with early on-set dementia in 2058. Five point lead. Twenty-eight seconds to glory. Less than half a minute to championship number five, and redemption for half a decade of failure.

According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:

When a person is faced with the reality of impending death or other extreme, awful fate, he or she will experience a series of emotional stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Denial can be defined as a refusal to accept facts, information or the reality of the situation.