“Time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will do, we will do over and over and over again.”
There’s a scene in season one of HBO’s True Detective in which Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) lights a cigarette and explains how “Time is a flat circle.” The haunting monolog is a reference to Nietzsche’s Doctrine of Eternal Return, which suggests life is more cyclical than linear and everything is a vast loop of itself. The theory holds that if we’ve been there before, we’re certain to be there again. There’s nothing to be done about it.
While I’m not here to discuss television shows or 19th-century philosophy, the vicious cycle has quickly repeated itself for the Oklahoma City Thunder. For the third time in two summers, the organization finds itself in a maelstrom of doubt, as the future hinges entirely on the decision making of one man. The situations surrounding Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are markedly different, yet the feeling of uncertainty is eerily familiar. Whether Rome is falling or simply re-tooling for what comes next, we will all be watching from the same powerless perch — just like last summer.
But if the key to busting out of the loop is in Westbrook’s hands, there is an underlying truth here that is often overlooked. The future will be brighter in Oklahoma City should he ultimately decide to stay — but the same can be said if he chooses to leave.
Let me explain.