It's been going on for quite a while now. The Golden State Warriors boarded the Mark Jackson gravy train of cockiness and confidence in stepping up to anyone at anytime, despite their lack of experience, and ultimately coming away with signature winning streaks (2012 Eastern Conference Road Trip), buzzer-beaters (Draymond Green against the Miami Heat), and postseason upsets (Denver Nuggets Demolition). It started there with this team and they haven't paused for a single second in looking back since. The fans, though? They've been this way for as long as my 24-year old mind can remember. Ruthless to opposing players, they were often complimentary of their own even when the times were darkest. Some of the sweetest moments of Warriors history came when Andris Biedrins received real standing ovations during made free throws. Made for each other.
This reached a fever pitch two days ago after the Utah Jazz game when Ben Dowsett, a Jazz reporter, noted that Stephen Curry and Draymond Green had laughed at a tweet they saw by a fan that said the Jazz played like champions. Dowsett went on to insinuate, in no exaggerated tones, that the Warriors could have shown a little more respect. It wasn't an overt criticism, nor something worth running amok over at any point. However, the players, including even Stephen Curry took to Twitter to denounce what they thought of as a cowardly act of reporter snitching. Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut, Twitter personalities of the next level, were quick to roast anyone that thought otherwise.
Were they wrong? Possibly. Was Dowsett out of line here in reporting an act that seemed more innocuous than anything else? Probably. But the more important takeaway here? The Warriors are as snarky, quick to combat, and as aggressive as the fans themselves. And it is awesome on this world and the next.
With the team now 19-0, fresh off a championship, and still treating each game as if the chance to permanently staple shut the lips of their detractors all around the world, the fans and players are keeping in lockstep. The players dislike anyone who dare utter a single criticism of their play, of an injury, or even the notion of a semblance of luck. The fans? They're ready to social-media crucify anybody who dares stand in their way. Matt Moore over at Hardwood Paroxysm and CBS Sports has felt the wrath of their rage and he's one of the most sensible analysts there are. I'm not here to judge whether these things are morally right or wrong - just that the personality personified within the players reflect those most accurately in the roaring mass.
When Draymond Green nails the first open three of the game and screams back in unison into the shrieking void of a crowd already juiced up on the entire adrenaline of success and atmosphere, there's a connection coursing through everyone involved. When Stephen Curry crushes the collective windpipes of an opposing arena and struts down the court after a step-back 3, the rumbling stampede of jumping families in their homes reverberate through the entire Bay Area. And the moment when the crowd knows when Klay Thompson can't feel his face? When they know where the ball is going because not a single person would dare try anyone else and Thompson jacks it up off-balance and it rips the net anyway? The dust cascading to the floor only drench the thick air of f***-you attitude.
Now the Warriors continue their tour of wreckage, tearing apart the rest of the NBA, crushing every seemingly minute negative detail they can find - their fans along the way ripping apart the rest of the open wounds. The Golden State Warriors are on this fairy tale story for the foreseeable future. The fans are just along for the ride and they never fit together so seamlessly.