Dating is such an unpredictable game – you never know who the “right fit” is. There might be a guy or girl who checks all the boxes on paper, who your friends think is perfect, and whose first returns might be positive, but something just doesn’t … fit. Every day, you feel like you’re actually pounding a square peg into a round hole (no sexual euphemism here) because you really thought this was right. But it isn’t. Why?

For the City of Dallas, and for Mavericks fans like myself, Hanukkah seemed to start in the most perfect way back in 2014: Rajon Rondo (the mercurial All-Star point guard who went toe-to-toe with the almighty Lebron James in the Eastern Conference Finals back in the early ‘10s) wanted out of a Boston Celtics uniform and was headed to Dallas for what seemed like just a small price. Due to the offensive talent now assembled on the Mavericks, national pundits were quick to put the Mavericks among the teams with the best chance to win the NBA championship. It’s almost like you could relate the situation to online dating …

Say you’re a girl. An outgoing, highly educated girl who enjoys running, going out to fun music concerts, intellectual discussion (mainly liberal politics) and watching a highly acclaimed Big 10 football team play on Saturday. You want someone who can go with your flow – oh, and someone you can settle down with.

One day, you’re on JDate and end up meeting this guy. He has a great job, is highly educated, loves going out and enjoys watching a highly acclaimed Big 10 football team on Saturday but … his profile pictures show multiple women and his politics make him sound like the second coming of Donald Trump.

The doubters noted that Rondo, while being able to plug a hole in the Mavericks porous defense, played a completely different style than the rest of the team. Not only that, the Mavericks gave up Brendan Wright (who was a huge contributor to the Mavericks from 2011-2014, a key focal point of their offense and a first-round pick) for Rondo.

“But,” you think to yourself, “he’s highly educated and loves Big 10 football, and maybe those are just old pictures to show he’s compatible with the opposite sex; this will totally work.” You start talking to each other and he seems alright – no red flags in the online discussion – so you go out for coffee.

“Ok,” you say to yourself, “still not bad, though he did make an inflammatory comment about that barista’s figure, but maybe he was just being funny.” You have another good date, and try to schedule something over the weekend. He says, “Come to the club, I’ve got bottle service.” You hate the club, but he’s hot and educated, so you go, thinking, “What’s the harm in it?”

The first initial returns were decent; Rondo filled up the stats sheet in his first few games and he took the defense to another level. But then, tension started rising internally and people realized his inability to “fit” with the team. He bickered with the coach, didn’t attend a teammate’s charity event and was ultimately benched for a game and suspended for most of the Mavericks playoff run (okay, he had a “back injury”) after he was essentially loafing during the key points of a game.

You can’t stand it. Finally, you throw your half-full glass of tequila and Sprite in his face, saying, “I’m done with you!” Your JDate match is sorry for a second, then resumes partying. Why?

While some in the local media said the Mavs were burned, the fact was, they weren’t. They knew what they were getting into and they paid the price for disregarding the concept of a “fit.”

This doesn’t mean Mr. Trump from JDate and Rondo are bad people. They just weren’t a fit for you (or the Mavericks). Someone else could love the club or a point guard with a giant attitude problem, but don’t waste your effort trying to if it’s clearly not a good match from the start.

Take it from Johnny Cochran, who probably didn’t think he was giving dating advice when he said, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

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