Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


We're all losers.

We know this, deep down.

That's why we celebrate the wins so much. We know that there are far more losses to endure.

In any case, winning all the time would be terribly boring. Even the Golden State Warriors know that.

I mention them only because an NBA owner--the Phoenix Suns' Robert Sarver--believes that younger generations can't deal with things not going their way all the time.

In an interview with the Arizona Republic, Sarver mused about some of the 20-somethings on his team, specifically Markieff Morris.

Morris and his twin brother, Marcus, both used to play for the Suns. Then Marcus was traded away. Markieff appeared to sulk.

"I'm not sure it's just the NBA," Sarver said. "My whole view of the Millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks." 

Could this be true? Have Millennials been coddled so much by overly loving, fear-addled parents that they've never had to deal with strife?

Is this the culture where everyone gets a medal, even if they come in what used to be known as "last"?

Sarver didn't directly blame parents.

Instead, he offered his J'Accuse to technology.

He said: "I'm not sure if it's the technology or the instant gratification of being online. But the other thing is, I'm not a fan of social media. I tell my kids it's like Fantasy Land. The only thing people put online are good things that happen to them, or things they make up. And it creates unrealistic expectations."

It may be that Sarver hasn't spent enough time on Twitter. There's something more than just invention, chest-beating, and crowing. Abject, willful nastiness, for example.

Perhaps he ought to point less at technology--Fantasy Land though it may be--and consider other aspects. Especially as the great platitude of Silicon Valley is that you should embrace failure as a child does Santa Claus.

He could, indeed, look at parenting and education, so often geared toward making sure that no child is left behind. In the self-regard stakes, that is.

He could also look at himself.

If you're an NBA player and you're being paid, say, $10 million a year or more, a loss is just something that comes before the next game.

You still get paid a fortune. The fans likely suffer more than you do. Why should you consider the possibilities that things may not go your way, once you're off the court?

You've been pandered to all the way through college--and likely paid under the table, too.

You've been hero-worshiped, adored, and simply stared at for a long time, while other people--administrations, coaches, your entourage--have dealt with any problems.

Morris, for his part, sniffed at Sarver's comments. He's from Philadelphia. Ergo, he's familiar with some of the more difficult parts of existence.

"I've been through adversity my whole life," he told Sports Illustrated. "That's what I've got to say about that. He's the owner. It's his team. He can say what he wants."

Those of drier countenance might observe that Morris's throwing his towel in disgust at coach Jeff Hornacek and Sarver's old-people-know-best complaints are both from the same well: The Suns are losing heavily this year.

Some of the fault is ours, too. We're the ones doing the worshiping, the adoring, and, naturally, the paying.

If we were adored quite as much as NBA players, would we be the lovely people we are right now?

Still, there are stories of several workplaces in which Millennials arrive feeling entitled and not being able to understand when they don't get what they (think they) deserve.

Of course, we all deserve never to suffer, because we're all so wonderful.

How frustrating it is that a life free of pain and discomfort only seems to occur in dreams.