“We Believe” is a mantra so popular amongst fans of the Golden State Warriors that it has survived numerous attempts to dislodge it as the team motto. For all the times “Strength in Numbers” gets printed, it has always lacked the gravitas.
After suffering a strained calf in game five of the Western Conference semifinals, Kevin Durant took in game six from his home in San Francisco. And according to Chris Haynes, the superstar forward was convinced this series was over, even as his team trailed in the fourth quarter:
The Rockets had taken a seven-point lead against the Golden State Warriors early in the fourth quarter, their largest lead in Game 6 of the West semifinals on Friday night...Durant, who was watching the game at his San Francisco home with his business manager, Rich Kleiman, and close friend Randy Williams, received a text at the very moment in which the Rockets were seizing control.
The message pertained to the preparation for Game 7 and what it would entail, and without hesitation, Durant promptly responded: “We’re winning this game!”
After going in with some uncertainty, I too was convinced that the Warriors were going to win this game, even as the outcome was very much in doubt. That sort of faith isn’t recklessly arrived at, it’s couched within a broader understanding of what the core of this team has done - and what they are.
As reported my Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, Draymond Green saw it too. This is a team that isn’t reliant on any one person. Rather, they display an inter-reliance that is, at the core, about how these players have earned their championship pedigrees:
“Oh, everybody’s ready to go,” Green said. “And I could feel it. Everybody was locked in. Even I got quiet. I knew I didn’t really feel like talking. And I know we’re locked in like that — I know what we’re made of, so I just knew guys were going to come out and bring it. When you talk about heart, you’re talking about just the willingness to do whatever. The willingness to do what it takes. The willingness to step up in a big moment. You can’t buy it. You can’t give it to someone. Either you got it or you don’t. I think we showed that in a major way.”
Durant will hopefully be back soon
It was a scary injury (as all non-contact injuries are), but the muscle strain was deemed to be “mild” after an MRI. According to the team, Durant will be re-evaluated next Wednesday, one day after the Conference Finals open against either the Denver Nuggets or Portland Trail Blazers.
In the meantime, Durant will be just like the rest of us: watching, rooting, but above all believing in these Golden State Warriors.