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Tank City rolls through Oracle; an experience the Golden State Warriors know well

I take a quick look back at history and how far the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have come in the past three years.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't that long ago when we cheered on Mikki Moore miss after Charles Jenkins foot-on-the-line bricks after Ish Smith layup clanks. The distant past is even more shrouded in depression when the Los Angeles Lakers, the annoying Southern California superstar franchise, finished the 2011-12 lockout season 41-25 and first in the Pacific Division. The Warriors, on the other hand, were cheering on David Lee's "hamstring injury" that ended up sidelining him the rest of the season. The reward at the end of that godforsaken tunnel? A coin flip's chance at remaining in the seventh spot in the draft lottery. Ridiculous.

While the Lakers were busy trading for Dwight Howard in one of the most hyped and later mocked trades of all time, the Warriors were praying for Andrew Bogut to stay healthy after flipping Monta Ellis for him. Flash forward to three seasons later, the Los Angeles Lakers are emptying their entire war chest of bombs and grenades, hopping on top of the tank guns ablazing, and determined to keep the top-five protected overall selection that could end up in Philadelphia.


Silver Screen and Roll


Everyone says the NBA is a fickle entity. This is true. But it is also a feeling you can't understand without actually experiencing how these things work out. A lot of you are much more versed in Golden State's history than me. I am embracing the move to San Francisco because I live here and it would be awesome for the San Francisco Giants and hopefully another title winner in the Warriors in the same backyard. But fickleness works in funny ways. These are good things to hope for, but also I'm inclined to hedge that theorizing the good sometimes leads to what often happens in the NBA: bad luck.

The Lakers were ready to start another dynasty run led by Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. The Warriors were spearheaded by new ownership and a rookie head coach in Mark Jackson. In 2015, to say the tables have turned is whatever remains the opposite of hyperbole.

As I won't be able to go to the next four games (sans the Atlanta Hawks because that one's going to be awesome), there's a bit of me that already regrets taking this team for granted. It isn't about enjoying and appreciating the team in itself, because most intelligent fans are privy to what's happening in the Bay Area. But interacting with fans and bloggers on other teams, this is one of the few basketball teams that truly entertains the audience even if you're rooting for the other team. The Warriors can make a blowout interesting. Stephen Curry has enough gamesmanship to show off a little bit for the crowd even with his team up 15 because the game has been a tad slow/boring (re: New York Knicks).

All this is from a Warriors fan perspective, of course. If I'm a Houston Rockets homer, I'd love watching their 20-point blowouts as much as anyone. It's just that these Warriors have made it an art. A specific form of expression that is a team toying and frolicking around the hardwood before the danger lights start flashing, and then them smashing off the brakes and cranking the gas pedal into the windshield.

Will it end with a championship? Who knows. This is one of the best conferences of all time. But we can forget all of that as the Warriors trudge into their last twenty games - with most of them coming as double-digit favorites, starting tonight as 18.5 point ones against the Lakers. Savoring what is an unnecessarily long season with a very necessary celebratory run through the league is a bacon-wrapped steak topped with garlic mashed potatoes.

The Warriors are historically good. The Warriors are also immeasurably fun to watch. These things don't tend to last forever, nor does the uniqueness of what this team is doing at this point. The future is bright. But the present? The present is the brightest.