Every year, the National Basketball Players Association, composed of every active NBA player, votes on league-wide awards. It gives us fans a rare glimpse of how NBA players perceive and appreciate their peers.
The Warriors did not claim any individual awards this year. Although Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant possibly could’ve snagged one of the various awards, Draymond Green probably had the best chance on the team at winning one for the category “Best Defender.” Unfortunately, he was edged out by Kawhi Leonard.
One player from every team was selected as “Best Teammate.” David West, the oldest player on the squad, was selected by his fellow Warriors. He’s known as a locker room leader who’s facilitated communication and cooperation within the team.
The Golden State Warriors were also deemed the team with the “Best Home Court Advantage.” For the past few decades, the Warriors’ loyal fanbase has kept Oracle Arena alive even in the team’s many forgettable years. During the “We Believe” run, Oracle Arena was finally recognized as one of the most vicious venues in the league when they upset the first-seeded Dallas Mavericks, shocking the entire nation.
In recent years, however, Oracle Arena’s status as one of the loudest, energetic homecourts has fallen into question. During the 2016 playoffs, the crowd was mysteriously silent when the team needed it most. Many fans and reporters have theorized that demographic change of the crowd in Oracle Arena, due to rising ticket prices, could be to blame.
But in the 2017 playoffs, Oracle Arena roared back. Maybe losing once reminded fans that nothing comes easy. Maybe fans wanted redemption. But ultimately, regardless of the reason, it’s amazing that NBA players think the Warriors have the most passionate fans in the league. When opponents walk into Oracle Arena, they’re thinking not only about how tough it will be to beat the Warriors. They’re thinking about how to keep their composure and how to communicate in the loudest arena in the NBA.