I am a younger Warriors fan than most of you but an older fan than many; I started watching the Dubs in the fall of 2008. After being introduced to the Warriors in the aftermath of the "We Believe" run by a pair of Bay Area lifers, I was instantly captured. So wide-eyed was I that I cannot even remember for sure if the games I had been introduced to were during that magical playoff run, although I believe they were. But I remember the emotion.
At the instant I became a warriors fan, they fell apart. I did not truly experience the highs of 2007-2008, and I certainly can't tell tales to those fans who remember any of our three championships. But I can listen. We are a proud franchise. We have won more titles in our history than the Miami Heat, the Seattle Supersonics (Chris Hansen I'm talking to you), or the New York Knicks. And we are working back.
But we are playing 5 guys on 8 legs. If we beat the Spurs, we will lose to Memphis. It doesn't matter how many games it takes, we will lose. I would take our full squad into battle against any team in the league, but that's not what we have. Memphis is healthy, they are hungry, and they are about to likely take down the Thunder in 5.
I don't want to see Stephen Curry, at the nadir of his national break-out season, drag that ankle around for 6 more games, which is the minimum if we win this series. Do you? He will put himself out there until he breaks because that is the kind of competitor he is and Mark Jackson will play him because that's the kind of faith that he has. But it is not worth the wear and tear on Steph's ankle. Or David Lee's hip. Or Steph's other ankle. Or Andrew Bogut's everything.
We could get past the Spurs. It is possible, if not unlikely, given the way the team has stepped up this season. But we will not get past Memphis. This year the Warriors exceeded all expectations. If the season ends on Thursday, not a single soul in Warrior Nation will hang their head. We were not picked to make the playoffs, we were not picked to beat Denver and we were not picked to challenge the timeless buzzsaw of the Spurs. Especially not after that Game 1 heartbreak. But we did all those things. And we should stand tall.
I do not want to watch Steph, DLee and Bogues leave any more on the court than they have already. I do not want to know what six more games will do to their' bones and and muscles and ligaments, frayed and aching as they already are. I want them to heal, strengthen and temper themselves into a razor sharp edge for next season and for seasons to come. I do not want them to sacrifice their bodies any longer in the twilight of this season. Our Warriors will not give up - they are fighters and they believe in themselves and each other. But it they lose on Thursday, I will not be sad. The future is bright.