Ahh… it has finally arrived -- Opening Night. The Warriors open up their 2010 season on Wednesday, October 27, against the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena. I have some opening night memories, but for some reason it’s not that of the game (I guess it was because most of it was the Warriors under Cohan). I remember the electricity in the air as it’s a sold out crowd with pent up energy from waiting so long. Walking to our seats from the parking lot or BART station was a big deal as we scan what’s new or unusual. First, the fans are out in their Warriors gear. Some are wearing new gear that you haven’t seen before. Next, you wait to get into Oracle and the place is buzzing with Warriors talk or the chatter of people on their cell phones. Once you finally get past the turnstiles, you see more fans, more gear and now get to check out the new or unusual vendors they added. Perhaps one of the hawkers makes an offer that you can’t refuse -- free Warriors blanket for opening up a credit card account or -- I just “gotta” have this basketball court put up in our backyard or -- you can bid for these “cool” memorabilia at the silent auction or -- get a free night stay in San Francisco, Hawaii or somewhere exotic if you sign up to look at our timeshare and all we need is your credit card info. After buying our usual buffalo wings, nachos and primo beer, my friend or wife would hurriedly go to our seats and listen to the Warriors band. Yeah, they’re okay. Okay, they’re pretty good. Next, we waited to watch pre-game workouts. Basically, I was there to watch the players to see what they were doing. Then I ended up scanning the stands to see who else was there and eventually I would go walk around and check out some of the new foods and vendors they added. I remember that more than the games. Oh yeah, there was Run TMC. They shot lights out and Timmy had the killer crossover. Or Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell. Those guys were athletic and had attitude. Or why is Antawn Jamison so short? Even Mike Dunleavy Jr. looked awesome as a rookie. He’s skinny and white, but he’s got some real skills; After all, he went to Duke. Or some player like Dirk Nowitzki from the opposing team had an incredible shot during the course of a game. It was a dagger to the Warriors’ fans hearts, but it was amazing to see nonetheless. It was something new and different every year, but as Warriors fans, we got sucked up in the vortex of opening night.
What were some of your GSW or GSOM opening night memories?
The Warriors ended their preseason with a losing 3-5 record, but it was not disappointing to this fan. First, the won-loss record doesn’t mean anything in the preseason. Sure, it means more to weaker teams like the Warriors compared to the Lakers, for example, but the Warriors made good accountability for themselves against the aforementioned Lakers. Your Golden State Warriors ended up playing two games against the Lakers in the southland. The Lakers ended up 4-4 and it appeared they were trying hard to win the last preseason game. Here are some of the key points that I took away from the preseason. First, David Lee and Andris Biedrins were playing TOGETHER. On the court at the same time. That was nice to see. Second, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry were starting in the backcourt. Ellis appears to still have a tendency to try and do too much by himself, but he’s gotten better and he may have a 3-pt shot. Next, the rebounding has improved even though the 3-pt shooting has not. The defense looks to have improved, but it can be better. What was disappointing was the Warriors perimeter shooting at times. They were cold and needed a go to guy to get them going again. I’m still not sure who the go to guy will be, but he should be somewhere on the bench this year whether that will turn out to be Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee or all three. Don’t count on defense, shooting or rebounding to be there at all times, but hopefully during the season, we’ll be able to see what the identity of this team will be and who the real leader or leaders of this team will be.