“NBA Fans-Easty to Hate…Better to Appreciate”
NBA fans wear their emotions on their sleeves, especially at this time of year, as the NBA championship trophy is handed out.
They love to cheer, love to hate. They root and they boo. It’s what the Golden State Warriors have encountered.
The good teams win, and then they wind up losing. They build a following and they fan the flames of dis-respect from fans around the league.
It’s the culture of the NBA. People got tired of the Red Auerbach-Celtics. They got turned off by the Lakers Showtime. The same Michael Jordan, Scotty Pippen and the Chicago Bulls bunch.
And now the Golden State Warriors have almost reached the finish line.
The Warriors, shredded by injuries again to Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney, came from 6-back to hit 3-critical 3-point shots to win in Toronto, to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
They showed heart, no quit, lots of grit, but they are running on fumes, and running out of time. Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard came back to score 10-point in a row to almost get his team the win.
The True North fans showed no class, cheering when Durant reinsured his calf in the 2nd quarter, even upsetting their Toronto players.
The series goes on, but the talk should be about the legacy of the Warriors, apparently on their last legs.
There should be a great debate how their legacy matches up with the past dynasties in Boston, LA, Chicago.
It may never be the same in the Bay Area. Teams change, and this one certainly will and it’s not just what the Toronto Raptors accomplished. It’s free agency, it’s age, it’s injuries. It’s the inevitable change.
What a run Golden State has had. Since the 2012 season, 3-championship rings. Two other times they got to the finals. 5-Division titles in a row.
The regular season record in this span of Golden State basketball is (428-154) in the regular season. Add in a (75-26) record in the post season. Dominant.
A composite 503-wins with Steve Kerr as head coach.
All this from a franchise that had 12-losing seasons prior. At the turn of the decade, they went 19-63, 17-65, and 21-61.
In 1974, they won a title with Al Attles . The Nate Thurmond-Rick Barry run was good, but had a limited shelf life.. Back in the day, they were originally the Philadelphia Warriors, with Wilt Chamberlain and they won titles in the 1960s.
But by this weekend, this era will be officially over.
Kevin Durant will likely leave as a free agent, maybe to the LA Clippers or the NY Knicks.
Klay Thompson, part of the ‘Splash Brothers’ team with Steph Curry, could leave too, though he may stay because he has a special bond with his teammates.
Tough guy forward Andre Iguodala is openly talking retirement. So is bench bunch guard Shaun Livingston. And center DeMarcus Cousins, coming off two years of injuries, is not the player he was, and could head elsewhere.
Steph Curry and Draymond Green have been great players, and they established a special chemistry, where all the players elected to earn ‘less than the max’ so they could put together this star-studded galaxy roster.
It’s easy for fans to dislike teams that win all the time. It’s special that these teams have this kind of run, when you compare the short shelf life the Miami Heat or Cleveland Cavaliers had, and the few rings they got, despite their locked and loaded rosters.
As we say good bye to the season, we likely say good bye to the Golden State Warriors, what they represented, how they did it, and how they handled super-stardom.
Thanks Golden State for all he fun watching this franchise, and how classy the team was, from Kerr to Curry and Klay and KD, and everyone in-between.