We were all geared up for round two.
Rooftop. Beers. Sunshine. Sunsets.
We had an even bigger crew this time.
My sister came. My buddy JJ and his girlfriend. Matt's wife. Ryan's girlfriend.
Ryan was ready. Ready for anything. Ready for everything.
The female contingent was much better represented than that first wild night where it was just the three of us dudes kickstomping and footrampaging across the roof. Howling with delight as the Warriors pulled out the win.
But this time, we were footstomping in anger and bewilderment.
But this time, the loss.
--- = ---
Cleveland, playing with only seven rotation players, shot 33% from the floor and somehow left Oakland with the coveted 1-1 split. They blew an 11 point lead with three minutes to go and, still, somehow managed to win. They were playing without Kyrie Irving, their star point guard. They started a player who three years ago was playing for Saint Mary's, who went undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft, and who last night held the reigning MVP, Stephen Curry, scoreless in one on one defense. Seriously, when Matthew Dellavedova was guarding him, Steph shot 0-8, missed all five of his three point attempts, and turned the ball over four times. Not good.
On the final play, Dellavedova forced Curry into an off balance, contested jump shot that missed every single part of the rim.
For the first time in Finals history, the first two games went into overtime.
For the second time in history, a player posted a stat line of at least 35 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. The only other player to ever do that in the Finals? James Worthy.
LeBron James: 2nd player in NBA Finals history with at least 35 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists. Other: James Worthy, 1988 Lakers (ELIAS)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 8, 2015
It was a night of miscues, brain failures, and needless fuck ups.
The Warriors have looked off kilter so many times this post season. They've come out flat, unable to find their motion. Unable to find their mojo. And every time (well, almost every time), they somehow find a way to pull the game out of their collective ass. Somehow find a way to come away with the win.
It's gotten so automatic that we forgive them many transgressions, banking on the fact that they'll make a run and find their way through.
And again, last night, that's exactly what happened.
Down 11 with three minutes left, everyone on the roof still believed they had that one run in them. And then there it was.
Battle battle. Fight. Prayers and hopes and finger rolls.
But this time, the boys fell short. This time, they couldn't wave the magic wand and erase all their failures.
This time, the Cavs were the ones celebrating and pulling out the victory.
LeBron had the last laugh. And the laugh was a vicious, muscled roar.
--- = ---
After our first night on the roof, we were reprimanded (very gently) for all the goddamn noise we made.
Boys are boys. And boys watching sports are loud.
The pregame group text exchange Ryan, Matt and I had was kind of hilarious:
Matt: Fucking stomping.
Ryan: Ha right
Matt: That was a mellifluous victory stomp
Me: Stomping is life.
Me: Everyone stomps and is stomped.
Me: Remember that super bowl at Matt's place, Ryan?
Matt: I was stomping out a fucking lifetime of basketball heartbreak.
Ryan: It's the circle of stomps.
Matt: It will be less loud than the tantrum you threw on my floor after the 49ers lost the super bowl.
Ryan: No way, that was one big mournful outburst and then quiet time faceplant on the floor.
Me: This conversation is everything.
Me: It's the stomping or thousands of dollars in therapy.
Ryan: Friendship, love, fandom, and the circle of stomps.
Ryan: That's the title of your next article Bram
Ryan: After the Ws blow em out tonight and they start planning the parade.
Ryan: It's our turn to stomp!
Me: I am stealing this all for writing.
Well, they didn't blow 'em out. There will be no victory parade planning.
Not yet anyways.
Life is a strange circle of stomping and being stomped. As Warriors fans, we know this. We know not to get ahead of ourselves. Know not to get carried away in the hype. Just because Kyrie is out doesn't mean it's going to be a goddamn cake walk to the championship.
Life is pain. Life is agony. Life is also joy. And fulfillment. All actions and acts equally deserve the stomp.
For now, the Warriors head to Cleveland having lost home court advantage. Soul searching is in order. Soul searching, film watching, and a change of attitude.
Here we go.
Game three is tomorrow, Tuesday.