Me, and my friend named Matt were talking about sports one day last year, when our conversation took a drastic turn into an argument. The sport of topic was Basketball, and it was about a week before the NBA Finals. I was saying how the Los Angeles Lakers were going to take the whole playoff championship with out a loss. He on the other hand was a Philadelphia fan, and wanted to see the 76ers beet the Lakers in the NBA finals. I thought it was preposterous for him to say the Lakers would loose the NBA Finals, after not loosing one game on the way there.Order now
And so our argument started there.
We were both sitting on the couch, watching T.V. flipping through the channels, and came up on ESPN Sports Center. We started watching it, and they started to talk about the NBA Finals, and the possible outcomes. I said out loud “There’s no way the Lakers could loose!” I wasn’t talking to anyone in particular, and I was giving the Lakers praise.
My friend Matt said, “What the hell are you talking about? Just because they haven’t lost yet, doesn’t mean they are going to sweep the entire series!” He had a very negative tone, and was very aggressive in his statement. It was like he was looking for an argument. Matt is the type of person who always looks for an argument.
I said in return, “What do you mean, the Lakers haven’t lost a game yet. They have swept through the entire playoffs, and were 5-0 in the games before the playoffs even started.” I had used a great supporting defense in hopes to ease the situation; yet, it made it turn even sourer.
Matt said, “Well, have you seen any of the 76ers playoff games? They have won each game in the final game of each series. They pull through at the very end each time. How could they work so hard, and then let it all go at the finals?” Matt was using some good specifics, and it was normally unlike him to have such a profound argument. Usually he will just try to be so aggressive that I will just give up because I don’t want the outcome to result in a fight.
I responded with “Well, you do have a point, they have come through at the last minute on all of their games, but were talking about the defending World Champion Lakers here. I love the Lakers, and there is no way they can loose!” I started to support what Matt was saying, and I probably shouldn’t have described my feelings, because it did not help in my argument.
But, I was trying to negotiate the problem as best I could, with out tempers getting all flared. I continued, “Allen Iverson is a damn good player, and so is Mutombo, but look at Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neil, there just about equally matched. Not to mention Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, and Tyrone Lue. The Sixers have two great players, but I don’t think the rest of the team can compare to the Lakers.”
Matt responded with, “Well, you may be right, but I think the Sixers are going to win, so we’ll just have to wait and see who wins!” Matt had made a compromise. I was going to leave it at that, because if I didn’t, we would be banging heads all night.
The conflict overall was one that could not be concluded until the NBA finals were over. It was started by both of us, by saying our beliefs on the outcome of the game. We both used good IPC skills, i.e. keeping good eye contact, and not letting our tempers control the whole conversation. Matt is known to be very aggressive in his arguments, but for the most part he was pretty conservative, by letting me state my feelings and beliefs.
One week later, the defending World Champion Lakers won the series. It looks like I won after all!