What’s Blowing My Mind, 2015 Edition (Part 1)

Posted in Golden (State) Years on February 19th, 2015 by bill

“Your mind…blow it.”
-David Bowie, “The Gospel According to Tony Day”

Steph Curry

Steph Curry can also fly, apparently.

As of this writing, the last day of the All-Star break, My Golden State Warriors have the best record in the league at 42-9. They have been so good, so consistently, that at times it’s become a little bit boring. After they methodically squeezed the life out of the at-one-time-considered-a-threat Houston Rockets a couple weeks back, sweeping the season series in decisive fashion, columnist Ray Ratto’s summary was:

Warriors add another sculpture to their Tedium Through Excellence exhibit.

This is a whole different world from what Warriors fans are used to, and while we’ve had a couple years to get used to the team not sucking anymore, my little monkey brain has not quite caught up to where things are now. In the days before the All-Star game I would see promos prominently featuring players in the familiar blue and gold and it would take me by surprise, even though Steph Curry was #1 in the overall voting, beating out even LeBron James.
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Reality Check

Posted in Golden (State) Years on December 17th, 2014 by bill

There are at least 4 things I love about this photo.

I have been superstitiously avoiding writing about the Warriors, because they have been on a crazy run unlike anything I have ever experienced as a basketball fan. After I last wrote about them on November 10, they lost the next game (to the San Antonio Spurs) and then did not lose again until last night (to the Memphis Grizzlies). In between, they ticked off 16 straight wins, raising their record to a surreal 21-2 (now 21-3).

It’s hard to know what to say. This team is very, very good at what they do. They score, they defend, they rebound, they pass. They play with supreme swagger that has not (yet) turned the corner into arrogance. They post fun videos on YouTube and Instagram. It’s a sweet time to be a Warriors fan.

The only sour note is that Andrew Bogut’s knee is acting up, and aside from Steph Curry, Bogut is the one player the W’s cannot afford to lose. He is the defensive anchor and a key cog in the offensive scheme. So now I have something to worry about, which is a much more familiar position to be in. That head-in-the-clouds, it’s-impossible-for-us-to-lose stuff is great, but weird. Reality may set in now; but then again, reality still has the chance to be pretty damn spectacular. So no complaints from this quarter.

One more time to the well

Posted in Golden (State) Years on November 10th, 2014 by bill

The Warriors lost their first game of the season last night, putting an end to this little flurry of giddy intoxication. I think they will still be great this year, just not perfect. Which is fine.

On the bright side, Draymond Green had a career-high four blocks, which gives me a convenient excuse to use my favorite phrase of the week one more time:

Quoth the Draymond: Nevermore!

Quoth the Draymond

Posted in Golden (State) Years on November 9th, 2014 by bill

Noted philosopher Draymond Green

“Obviously, we’re not looking at it and thinking we’re the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a long season. We’re five games in, but winning is fun.”

Golden State of Mind

Posted in Golden (State) Years on November 6th, 2014 by bill

They make a grown man cry.

On the one hand, I don’t want to talk about the Warriors – that’s the Golden State Basketball Warriors, the only sports team I allow myself to really care about anymore – because they are playing so incredibly well right now, it seems foolish to do anything but sit quietly and enjoy, On the other hand, I don’t want to talk about anything else.

The Dubs have played only four games, but they have won them all. And last night they shellacked the LA Clippers, the team that bounced them out of the playoffs last year, in a way that can only be called ruthless. The Clips looked shocked, Chris Paul looked like he wanted to run and hide, Doc Rivers looked like he wanted to pull his hair out except his hair is about three micrometers long and that’s not possible.

Yes, it’s a little early to gloat. I know this. But when am I going to gloat if not now? The best part was watching Clips power forward Blake Griffin – a big, strong, talented guy who is also a total crybaby – suffer at the hands of the Warriors’ Draymond Green, who played phenomenal defense and hit four three-pointers. Here is Draymond running back down the court after one of them:

Out of context that looks a little dickish, but trust me, in the moment it was entirely appropriate.

I could go on and on about Steph Curry, who was his usual baby-faced-assassin self; Klay Thompson, who battled through a tough shooting night and hounded CP3 on D; and Andrew Bogut, who showed the Clips what a real tough guy looks like. But I have stuff to do.

All this giddiness won’t last forever, of course. It could end as soon as Saturday, when the W’s play the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are playing great too and haven’t lost a game either. So I’m going to savor this feeling while it lasts, like a fine wine with a long, slow finish.

Desirable Elements of Information

Posted in Golden (State) Years, Spam, wonderful spam on August 29th, 2014 by bill

Some now living will never die.

It’s been a while since I could just post about whatever I felt like, so I thought I might take a few minutes to update you, faithful readers, about some of my ongoing obsessions.

Abe Vigoda

According to every source of information at my disposal, Abe Vigoda remains alive. Among those who have shuffled off this mortal coil since I last wrote about Abe (2/25/11):

Andy Rooney
Amy Winehouse
Whitney Houston
Adam Yauch
Donna Summer
Ernest Borgnine
Sherman Hemsley
Gore Vidal
Phyllis Diller
Jack Klugman
Charles Durning
Norman Schwartzkopf
James Gandolfini
Peter O’Toole
Slim Whitman
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Elaine Stritch
Robin Williams

Just to name a few. Whereas Abe’s to-all-appearances-imminent death has been a running gag in popular culture for about 40 years now. Long may he reign.
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Draymond Green quote of the day

Posted in Golden (State) Years on December 4th, 2013 by bill

“My main thing coming into this year was to be me and do what got me here. The Warriors didn’t draft me to do what didn’t get me here. They drafted me to do what I did to get here.”

Pass It On

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 17th, 2013 by bill

Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system…the truth is, I don’t feel sad today. The Warriors acquitted themselves well, and you could pretty much tell last night that they had nothing left in the tank. Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut were playing on two good ankles between them, and the whole team looked emotionally and physically exhausted. They gave 110%, left it all out there on the floor, or whatever cliche you want to dredge up…I am also too worn to come up with anything original.

But I’m excited about next season, and for once, with good reason. Rest up, boys, you’ve earned it. See you Halloweenish.

The Party’s Over

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 17th, 2013 by bill

The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
They’ve burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
It’s time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid

The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party’s over
It’s all over, my friend

(Styne/Comden/Green)

Let It Ride

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 14th, 2013 by bill

The door is that way.

Tonight my basketball team plays Game 5 of its series against the San Antonio Spurs. The teams are tied at 2–2 right now, so this one is pivotal — crucial — decisive — of great consequence — however you want to put it.

So why do I feel so free and easy? Maybe because the Warriors have already overachieved to a rather staggering degree. This is the first playoff experience for everyone on the team who matters, and they’ve been playing without their only All-Star, David Lee. (Asterisk, Lee has made a couple of cameo appearances post-injury; this registers on the inspiration scale to be sure, but on the statistical scale mattereth not.) And yet they bounced the #3-seeded Nuggets from the playoffs and have played the #2-seeded Spurs to a standstill.

After losing a subpar Game 3 and suffering through a God-awful first half of Game 4, in which they scored 34 points, the W’s showed huge heart and came back to force overtime. (Let’s not mention the questionable shot at the end of regulation by Jarrett Jack, who also made several great buckets in addition to his usual heart-attack-inspiring, turnover-prone bball performance art.) In the overtime they simply dominated, outscoring the Spurs 13–3 and ending the drama with merciful quickness.

What more can I ask for, really? If the Warriors lose tonight, it will simply be a return to sanity in a world turned upside-down. The Dubs are a young team who will have lots more chances. If the Spurs lose, it will be a shameful failure and perhaps the end of them as a force in the NBA. Tim Duncan is in the twilight of his career, Manu Ginobili is one knee injury from spending all his time in bars with Diego Maradona, and while Tony Parker has looked great in this series, he turns 31 this week and that kind of quickness doesn’t last forever.

I’he heard the phrase “playing with house money” applied to the Warriors more than once in the last couple weeks, and it is apt. So… everything on blue, and let it ride.