On November 17, 2014 Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars debuted their new song "Uptown Funk" to critical acclaim. The combination of fresh young voices tackling a beat with a classic, 80's feel to it appealed to a wide audience, and it made for an instant hit.
Three weeks earlier, the Washington Wizards made their debut, to similar acclaim. Pairing their fresh youngsters, John Wall and Bradley Beal, with a roster that had an 80's feel to it made a lot of sense on the surface, and led to some beautiful music as they raced out to a 19-6 start.
In December, the Wizards and Uptown Funk peaked. A key part of the success of each was the conscious decision to go against the grain by embracing the past, rather than chasing after the future. Competitors didn't know how to deal with the fusion of fresh talent and retro stylings, and they pounced on everyone who was backpedaling to adjust.
But by the time 2015 rolled around, retro started looking old again. Once teams figured out how to corral John Wall a bit more effectively, the Wizards' offense got as stale and repetitive as hearing "Cause uptown funk gon' give it to you" on loop.
Don't believe me? Just watch.
Unfortunately, the future is much brighter Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars than it is for the Wizards. When a hit gets stale, you just write more music. Reinvent yourself. Find a new beat. All it takes is some creative effort. It's not as easy to fix a broken record that won't stop spinning.
SIDE NOTE: If you want to extend this analogy further, all you have to do is look at Ronson's album Uptown Special. The album features a song called "Feel Good" which debuted on Saturday Night Live in late November. The best part of this is how it was introduced on the show. Cameron Diaz comes out and introduces Ronson and Mars to a group of excited fans.
But just when the crowd starts to get excited to see Ronson and Mars, they introduce Mystikal, someone who hasn't been relevant in years, and he steals the show for a few moments. Once you realize Rasual Butler is the Mystikal of this season, everything else makes sense.