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It's Graduation Day for the 2013-14 Washington Wizards

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The Wizards have passed their first big test. Now, it's time to go out into the world and make a name for themselves.

via @recordsANDradio

Sports have a way of tricking you into thinking they're a distraction from life. The reality is, sports ARE life, it just gets expressed differently on a playing surface. Every high, every low, every emotion and every struggle that comes in life can be expressed and understood through the lens of sports. There's a reason why people use sports analogies to describe other parts of life that have nothing to do with sports.

But if we can use sports to describe life, then we can use life to describe sports as well. For me, the closing minutes of last night's game felt a lot like a graduation ceremony. A graduation is about a large crowd of people came together to celebrate the accomplishments of a select group of people who completed a challenge and look forward to the challenges to come. It's the rare celebration where people come to celebrate the past and the future, but focus very little on the present moment.

As you look around the web today, you'll notice that most of the reflections on the past season either focus on the Wizards exceeding expectations or what the team has to look forward to as the team matures. Very few pixels will be generated about the present, and that's a bit of a shame, because what most people forget about graduation is that it's also goodbye. People who were key parts of your day-to-day life become fuzzy memories much faster than you ever thought they would.

While we don't know how this summer will shake out, it's almost impossible to see a scenario where every single person comes back next season. And let's be honest: if somehow they did all return, it would be a little weird, like the person you meet in college that still tries to keep in touch with all their buddies from high school. There's a reason why Saved by the Bell: The College Years seemed much less realistic than Saved by the Bell. Sticking together with the same group of friends through high school and college is far less realistic than being able to freeze time whenever you call for a timeout.

Don't be mistaken, this isn't a post about calling for sweeping changes. Like Mike, all I'm asking is that you take time to appreciated the 2013-14 Wizards. Respect what they accomplished, be excited about their future, but don't forget last night was also the last time you'll see that 15 man unit play together. Hopefully you understand why that would make Bradley Beal a wee bit emotional last night.

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Here are some links and assorted thoughts once you're up to reading more about the Wizards last night.

(Note: If you click the button, it plays Turn Down For What. Click at your own risk.)