Take a seat. GSOM, Dub Nation, Bandwagoners, and Haters... I hope you have some time to kill. We're about to talk about some arrogantly heartwarming shit. P.S. There's a terrifying challenge at the end of this read, only for the brave and high speed internet connected.
Wait what's the equivalent to P.S. but not at the end? Hmmm.
Last year around this time I wrote an article about rewatching the inexplicable, crushing Game 7 Finals defeat. A year later, to quote the great Charlie Sheen, we are back to "WINNING". Like, shit is crazy right?
I grew up with with 3 little sisters in the shadows of the Coliseum Bart in East Oakland in the late 80s and early 90s. You remember those days? Perhaps you aren't familiar. I remember it being fun, dangerous, and LOUD. The streets were alive with blaring music (MC Hammer, Aretha Franklin, Snoop Dogg come to mind). The police sirens whipping by were even louder. The crack of gunfire in the not so distant area REALLY could get your attention. But there was always something louder than all of that to a young child's ear: The snapping bark of Dad calling you from the house.
You could be playing freeze tag at 7:30pm on a hot summer's eve, one eye on your buddy Michael trying to dodge your outstretched finger tips ("YOU AIN'T GETTIN ME" he'd gleefully guffaw), and another eye on those damned street lights. Once they came on, fun was over: time to get in the house. Sometimes, the pride of tagging somebody back for making you "IT" had a stronger pull than the possible risk of getting in trouble at the house. Maybe you get another 5 minutes out of it, maybe you get another good 10.
You don't really remember how much longer you got to stay out in the end, though. Suddenly, when Dad's voice roared from the porch the way an ancient Mastodon MUST have sounded, you have no memory of how much fun you were having. You can't recollect how important it was to chase down Mike as he skipped through the growing shadows. You just peer down the block into that weird bluish-black night. You squint at your porch (damn, how did it get dark so fast??) and peer at the impenetrable silhouette of broad shoulders squared directly at you.
You only know two things: your time is up, and your ass is in trouble.
It is in this same spirit that I reach out to you, esteemed brethren and sistren (?) of GSOM. In the name of the Warriors of Golden State, The Eater of Cupcakes, The Splasher of Treys, Guardians of the Rim, and Unanimous The Beloved, I have a message for all of our supposed rivals.
YOUR TIME IS UP.
AND YOUR ASS IS IN TROUBLE.
The entire league is the proverbial "Ass" to our literal "Boot" (ask Zaza). They are reeling in a stupor. We know all the reasons (we're the best duh) and if you need in depth analysis for why the Dubs starters are usually on the bench laughing with towels over their heads with 10 MINUTES OF GAME TIME LEFT IN THE 4TH, please check out Eric Apricot da Gawd's film breakdowns.
(And for the haters, we were doing this before KD . Don't forget 1 Ring and 73....just not in the same year. Adding KD just made sure we humiliate other teams more extravagantly).
However, there's an underlying theme that underscores all of the devastation: The Warriors players are in absolutely brotherly love with their teammates. Check out GSOM's own Scribe of Greatness, Tamryn Spruill, thoughtfully breaking it down,
Now let's go into a bizarro world of basketball disharmony that is home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Much like KD in OKC, Shaq in Orlando/LA/Miami, or any other great player who was caught in a pissing match with their own teammate, Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland.
"Irving was tired of being Robin to James' Batman. Tired of having another superstar -- even one of the best players of all time -- in control of his fate. Yes, he had learned from James in the three seasons they'd played together. Yes, he was appreciative. But Irving felt the time had come to take his destiny into his own hands. " --ESPN.com
Wait, what? Bruh, you've been to the finals THREE STRAIGHT YEARS. Sure, you lost two of them, but #GodsTeam. You play alongside LeBron James and have an outstanding role next to him. Trust me, in the 4th quarter of the finals, nobody at my house was shouting "Oh no LeBron has a triple double SO HE'S DEFINITELY about to close us out". Hell nah. He might fire a great pass to somebody in the corner, that's about it.
We were terrified of YOU Kyrie. Why would you leave?
Oh that's right. LeBron is holding the entire franchise hostage like a petulant millionaire husband with a prenup who threatens to divorce his burned out wife if the next gotdamn coffee she brings him is too f***ing hot. Seriously, have you seen LeBron's body language during games? I only tune in to watch Cavs games if they are playing us, or if they are down in the 4th quarter and I'm surfing league pass. So, that's probably 20 total Cavs games I force myself to watch. And in every single game "King James" is barking at, rolling his eyes at, or passive aggressively low-fiving some poor teammate.
How bad is it when Fear The Sword, SB Nation's resident den of discontent, literally has to talk about how crappy LeBron's body language is to his teammates.
(Oh but doesn't Draymond get on his teammates? Let me guess, you read one ESPN article back in October about Dray being a ticking time bomb. Here's the difference between Dray and LeBron getting on a teammate: Love. No, not Kevin Love. Brotherly Love. Draymond is barking at his teammates like a Pentecostal Pastor casting out demons in order to exorcise one of the brethren. LeBron has the exasperated condescension of a punished god cast down from Mt. Olympus to press wine with dirty villagers for a month as penance for eating Zeus' lunch. )
LeBron's teammate's facial expressions? I've seen them before: in Radioshack when some sad sap is mumbling through an "extended warranty" pitch for a $5 pair of crappy headphones. If the swollen bags and OG Kush induced redness in their eyes could talk, they would say, "I'm just doing my job bruh. Please don't decline my warranty pitch while my manager's watching".
THAT'S THE DEMEANOR OF THE WARRIORS BIGGEST "RIVAL". OUR ONLY "COMPETITION". LOL.
Kyrie isn't alone in realizing the juxtaposition between his team and ours. The Clippers, Rockets, Grizzlies, Spurs, Jazz, Blazers, Nuggets and any other western conference rival has been submerged deep into the Pacific Ocean #Splash. The worst part is that the Warriors have been laughing deliriously whilst doing it. Let's visualize all of our opponents star players mind frames.
So not only are the Dubs going to serve you on the hardwood (pause), you're going to have drag your weary ass over to the bench and shoot a side eye to the Dubs bench. A place also known as "The Happiest Place on Earth". The Warriors take joy in beating people into dust. The slick symbolism of the celebrations (Goggles of Dimer Vision? Raise Your Left Hand Like Caesar? The Trey Bazooka?), the mischievous giggling, the giddy dancing, all of it on full display. The joy fuels their high level play which in turn fuels their joy which in turn crushes your franchise.
It's not just the fact that our players are talented, work hard, and have a high IQ. That's just the ingredients for good basketball. It's that each player genuinely want the success of his teammates to match, if not EXCEED their own! How else do you explain how Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant both won a Finals MVP without Steph Curry Da Unanimous One caving in emotionally to the obvious criticism that would bring to his legacy?
Of course, Durant actually was lured to play with the Warriors because he was all too familiar with joyless basketball. When he went to war against us, he was mystified how down 3-1, the twinkle in the eye was still there. Why was Steph knocking down no look three pointers on Serge Ibaka? Why was Klay Thompson firing from further and further away in his defenders faces? Because the more spectacular the play, the higher the ignition of excitement and fun. After the finals KD had that great interview where he talks about Steph teaching him how to use joy to fuel his success.
That's why, for MY money, Steph is the best player in the NBA. It's that intangible, contagious joy as the foundation for a culture where everyone shares....AND EVERYONE EATS. Oh yeah he also is the fastest acting, most devastating weapon in the history of basketball.
I read the dopest quote in an old Rolling Stone article about the Warriors battling KD and Westbrook in the playoffs that year by the way.
The problem with rooting against the Warriors is that they only way to beat them is to sap the game of its joy. This is how the Spurs did it, and this is how several other middling teams did it during the regular season – they either caught the Warriors on an off-shooting night, or they caught them with a less-than-full rotation, or they caught them in the midst of a fatigue-laden road trip.
Those damn joyless Spurs. Ugh, feels SO good to have swept them. Anyways, I say all this so that we remember to take joy in all this as well. We were pretty trash for like 40 years: don't miss any opportunity to playfully rib our non Warriors fan friends and family. Or if you're me, clap in their face and promise their squad is losing by 30 next time they step into Roaracle.
Wellp, my vape pen is finished charging. Time to go back to ruining children's lives online in NBA2K with the Dubs. In the meantime hit up this poll below and let me know how you feel about this burning question. My PSN Tag is TheBlackTruth.