8 years ago, when the Warriors made the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons, there was much rejoicing among fans and players, and I wrote a giddy post entitled “Hell Freezes Over.”
This week, they mathematically clinched a playoff spot in the middle of a game against the Lakers, when the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Dallas Mavericks. Everyone glanced at the scoreboard, shrugged, and went about their business.
And the answer is yes, yes I do. Andrew does such a good job of explaining why that I am tempted to just leave it at that:
So much of the NBA belongs to people who are gifted beyond comparison and talented beyond comprehension — guys who make impossible skills look routine. Guys like Steph, Klay, even someone like Harrison Barnes. I love Draymond Green like a family member because he was none of those things. He was the regular dude from Michigan who might one day be able to foul people professionally, and through sheer will and self-confidence, he has made himself as irreplaceable as anyone. This is the goddamn American Dream, at least for the 99 percent of us who shouldn’t bother dreaming.
But let me go ahead and add a few words of my own. Read more »
“Your mind…blow it.”
-David Bowie, “The Gospel According to Tony Day”
Klay got his Harry Potter scar from a J.R. Smith elbow.
A couple years back, when I was first trying to brainwash my special lady friend into being a Warriors fan, I suggested that she pick a favorite player as a way to personalize the game. She quickly homed in on Klay Thompson, then a raw second-year guard with a huge upside and what looked, to me, like an equally enormous schnoz (she claimed it was “Roman” and elegant). Klay’s fortunes have soared ever since, and this year he signed a $70 million contract extension, started in the All-Star Game, and did this:
Very few NBA players will ever score 37 points in a game, much less a quarter. I unfortunately did not happen to be watching that night, and learned again the hard way that you just cannot miss Warriors games these days, because you never know when something mind-blowing is going to happen. (See also: Curry, Stephen, subject of previous post.)
As for Klay, what I like most about him is his matter-of-fact demeanor. He rarely shows emotion on the court (except when dropping 37 points in a quarter, and really, isn’t that a good time to flip out a little bit?). In a sports world overrun with hyperinflated egos, it’s refreshing to see a guy with superstar skills and a “just-doing-my-job-here” attitude.
“Your mind…blow it.” -David Bowie, “The Gospel According to Tony Day”
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. Read more »
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.
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.
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.
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):
Philip Seymour Hoffman
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. Read more »