It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Sometimes, I wonder whether Charles Dickens was thinking about our Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings when he wrote this memorable opening line in his great novel, A Tale of Two Cities. I will borrow heavily from this novel as I attempt to complete my metaphor.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
The 2014-15 NBA season was indeed the best of times for the GSWs. They won their first NBA title in 40 years. Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings were in turmoil. They failed to make the playoffs yet again, and the Maloof brothers sold the team. You can't find a more polar contrast in fortunes between two cities within close proximity unless you look at the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's, or the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. For Warriors fans, these are indeed the best of times. For Kings fans, these are the worst of times.
It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness.
The Warriors have done everything right, and the Kings have done everything wrong. The Warriors made tough decisions that have all worked out. We all know what those key decisions were. Letting go of a relatively successful head coach and replacing him with a rookie coach with no head coaching experience was one of these moves. Investing in the future was another great move. The future looks bright for the Warriors. They will be moving to a new stadium in San Francisco. The future looks murky for Sacramento. The Maloof brothers were unsuccessful in moving the team to Seattle, and finally decided to sell the team. Currently, the Warriors play at the Oracle Arena. The Kings play at the Sleep Train Arena. Just think about that contrast! But the Kings will also move to a new arena. It will be called The Golden Arena. Wow! That is deep! Again, think about what that seems to suggest, even if only on a subliminal level.
It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity.
We Believe! That is our slogan in addition to the new slogan, "Strength in Numbers." Warriors fans are amazing -- they will always believe. Kings fans are still in disbelief at what is happening to their team. And they may still be in disbelief about the horrific officiating during the epic Kings-Lakers seven game playoff where the Lakers went to the free throw line 27 times in the 4th quarter. Seriously, who will ever forget that? The Kings were robbed. Therefore, it is to be expected that their fans remain incredulous and chafed.
It was the season of light. It was the season of Darkness.
Now, I'm starting to repeat myself. Last season was an elixer for Warriors fans. It was a nightmare for Sacramento fans. We got to see Curry shine. We also got to see the brilliance of the Warriors' ownership group shine and its management. In contrast, the Sacramento ownership group is lost in a dark fog of meddling, weirdness, and ineptitude. Meanwhile, Kerr shone. The Kings head coach was fired. Let me stop here. I don't want to come across as a sadist. But I will say this: Nate Parham noted something interesting and very relevant to this issue of light versus dark. Jason Thompson was quoted as saying, "When it comes to Golden State versus Sacramento, it's kinda like night and day." Nuff said!
It was the spring of hope. It was the winter of despair.
The Warriors extended Draymond Green's contract and let David Lee move on. And once the Barnes contract gets settled, we will be well-settled. However, the Kings have made some interesting moves of their own, as my good friend, LOVEMEORSPEIGHTSME, will write about in his great series on the State of the Pacific.
We had everything before us. We had nothing before us.
We have Curry and the rest of the cast to repeat as NBA champions. As for Sacramento, I honestly don't know what they have before them. But I can tell you that it's not even close to what we have. The last time that the Kings won a Championship was before I was born. And my good friends here will tell you that it was a very, very long time ago. Heck, I can still remember Abe Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Yes, it was that long ago before the Kings won a title. And I don't want to pile on here. I will not talk about the great Bay Area weather and majestic scenery versus the smell of cow manure in Sacramento. :)
Every great novel has a theme. In Dickens' novel, one major theme was retribution. Payback. The Kings have George Karl as their coach. He was a Warriors coach. Will there be payback? They have Marco Bellineli, a former Warriors player. They even have their own Curry. November 7 will be an interesting day. Curry versus Curry. Both wearing #30. Will Seth try to finally get retribution for the countless beat downs that Steph issued in their backyard playing hoops as teenagers? I would not want to be Dell Curry or Sonya Curry that evening when we play the Kings. I am sure that they will root for both of their sons. One of them might be wearing a Sacramento jersey. I will forgive him or her. And I don't want to get too deep here in the analogy/metaphor for retribution. Mitch Richmond, a former Warrior who brought respectability to Sacramento? How about Chris Webber, another Warriors player who took them to the next level? Webber will surely look for retribution.
And if you read this far, then I will rec whatever FanPost or comment that you make on GSoM, no matter how inane. :)