The seconds ticked down.
Stephen Curry held the basketball, a smile breaking out across his cherubic face.
He flung the ball into the air, and as it landed, the buzzer sounded.
The Warriors were champions of the world.
Pandemonium broke out. Players ran around the court like a bunch of excited kids. Hugging each other. Grabbing whoever was nearby, screaming into each other's ears.
Screaming, "WE GONE BE CHAMPIONSHIIIIIIIP!"
I was at Matt's house.
There are no words.
I lay on the floor with my hands on my head, thinking about the journey. Thinking about everything that has happened. My life—living and loving with this team. With this band of lovable losers. Rooting for them through all the down years.
I lay there, silent.
Smiling like a buffoon.
When I finally stood up, the trophy stage was being erected on the court.
Adam Silver was standing there with a microphone. The party had begun.
I looked at Matt. He sat on the couch, a wide-eyed look of disbelief and wonderment permanently plastered on his face.
He stood and we embraced. All of the years of hope and pain. All the years. Flowing out and away.
Our wives were there with us. Matt's wife, Meg, looked at my wife Kim and asked, "Wait, are they crying?"
Yes, Meg. Yes, we were crying. We were both crying.
It's a big goddamn deal.
Draymond's reaction to winning the NBA Finals is everything. pic.twitter.com/3iRJdhRCpy— Kaitee Daley (@daleysports) June 17, 2015
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If there is one thing I have found in life, it is that you have to appreciate those things you have that make you happy while you have them.
I know it is a cliche, I know everyone says it, but shit, it's true.
I spent six years on the road touring with a successful rocknroll band, and much of the time I was miserable.
I missed my wife.
I missed our house and I missed our two cats.
Professionally, I was striving towards the goals of my childhood—the dream of living out on the road, playing music every night, being free and alone, flying along the roads of America with a group of close friends and a van full of instruments.
But you can't choose what ends up being important in your life.
You can't change when you fall in love.
And so all of those years rang with a hollowness that no amount of excitement and adventure could ever fix.
I couldn't help it. I wanted to be home.
In a similar way, I cannot help but love the Warriors. I can't help but love basketball. As much as I pride myself on being a modern, smart, thinking man trying to do right and be kind, I cannot help but be in love with this game involving a leather orb and a metal hoop.
Every time I try to think about it rationally (why? why does this resonate with me so deeply?), I fail.
But therein lies its glory and majesty.
IT DOESN'T MATTER.
It doesn't matter.
I love it because it makes me happy. I love it because it fulfills me in ways I never thought possible and teaches me lessons about life.
For if life is one unending journey of comprehension and learning, then surely lessons are to be found in the highest and lowest of places.
Truth is just as easily seen in a Tibetan scroll lost in the Himalayas as in the smile on Riley Curry's face when her daddy kisses her. Often times, truth is more easily comprehended in life's simplest moments. In those moments of pure, unadulterated emotion. Living in the moment. Not thinking, only living.
So Matt and Ryan and Meg and Kim and myself all stood there, dumb smiles on our faces, and laughed.
Laughed with joy. Laughed with sadness. Laughed for all the things that are and all the things that will be.
Because the Golden State Warriors are CHAMPIONS.
And goddamn, that's alright with me.