Two years ago, the Warriors became NBA champions for the first time since 1975. They were the upstarts, the overachievers. Nobody thought they could do it. Everyone thought they were a fluke. Steve Kerr — in his first year of coaching since taking over for a dismissed, embarrassed Mark Jackson — had taken the team to a place many Warriors fans never thought they’d see: Champions of the world.
I was overwhelmed. I was stunned. My entire life, the Warriors had been bad. Like, not just bad but REALLY, REALLY BAD. So, to see them win a frickin championship was unreal. It was super real. It was so much realer than any other sporting event I’d ever witnessed. To be able to watch them win — while having spent the majority of the year (my first season here) writing for Golden State of Mind — was a surreal experience.
At the time, I wrote:
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.
But the 2015 team won their championship in Game 6 in Cleveland. Warriors fans did not get a chance to celebrate with their beloved players on their home court. Of course, last year we thought we might be able to witness such an occurrence in both Games 5 and 7, but y’all know how that turned out.
Instead of focusing on the negatives — of which there are many, from all corners of the basketballing world right now — I’d instead like to envision how special it would be if the Warriors won out in Oakland. Imagine the joyful hysteria of the crowd as they streamed out of Oracle. Imagine the bars that night, throughout the Bay Area.
Let’s all imagine such a thing. Let’s all whisper sweet nothings to the basketball gods and hope that such a thing happens. Let’s put our minds towards envisioning such a reality.
Because the alternative — a return to Cleveland, much like last year, with a 3-2 series and the players starting to feel the underburn of panic — is not something I want to go through again. I’d rather not envision a world where 3-0 jokes replace 3-1 jokes.
The only thing worse than having to switch from 3-1 to 3-0 jokes would be [redacted].
(Side note: I just typed about five different jokes that I had to erase for fear of getting fired. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you can probably piece them together. Key words: WWIII; Orange; Belligerent; Ohio; Early morning tweets sent from the pooper.)
So, with an eye towards maintaining my sanity and positivity, I’d like to envision what it would feel like for the Warriors to win tomorrow in Oakland.
Sure, we’ve all been crushed in a variety of ways since last summer, but maybe this could be the start of an epic turnaround!
Either way, I’m choosing to be (mostly) positive instead of succumbing to my innate, standard Warriors-reaction of doom and despair that has been beaten into me since I was a young lad, watching a truly horrible team play horrible basketball, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Come, join me. Let’s forget our sadness. Let’s move towards a better world.
It’s gonna be glorious. Game 5, tomorrow.