It’s been a month and a half since I posted my statement doubling down on Draymond and the Warriors. How’s that working out?
In terms the world will understand — that is, wins and losses — not so great. In that time the W’s are 10–10, not disastrous but hardly what you’d call encouraging. They currently occupy 12th place in the West, a game and a half out of the play-in tournament, and the conventional wisdom has written them off.
Not without reason. Above and beyond the obvious problems — a chronic inability to make baskets or to prevent opponents from doing the same — there has been something ineffably Wrong with the Dubs all season. Then a couple weeks ago an assistant coach suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack in the middle of a team dinner.
This is of course horrible but I couldn’t help seeing it as a scene in some future 30 for 30: This was where things turned around, the squad pulled together to win one for Deki (Dejan Milojević, 1977–2024, RIP), whose spectral presence on the court could be glimpsed by those with a certain kind of eyes.
Since then the Warriors have won two games and lost two, which doesn’t quite fit the narrative. But the losses have both been by one point, including a gutting double-overtime heartbreaker against the Lakers. So there is reason for optimism. Wait: There’s always reason for optimism; it’s a mindset. There’s reason for a judiciously measured spoonful of hope, I guess is what I mean.
As for Draymond: In his five games back he has been well-behaved. No technicals, pummelings, or stranglings. He is also +85, which is, like, real good?
Tonight the Warriors will play the Memphis Grizzlies, a hollow shell of an NBA team that is missing 4 of its 5 starters due to injury. The W’s played the Grizz two weeks ago and somehow lost to them, in one of the many low points of the season. If they can avoid that fate tonight it will be a small step in the right direction.
This is an important week, with the trade deadline looming and many feeling the Warriors need to make changes. I for one am not so sure. I mean, something has to change; but I’m not sure it’s the personnel.
While we’re on the subject, I’d like to talk about something that’s been on my mind: the distressing surge over the last couple years in Klay hate. I am speaking of course of Klay Alexander Thompson, Warriors shooting guard, sea captain, dog lover, and owner of the record for most threes made in a NBA game (14) and most points in a quarter (37).
A little over two years ago, Klay returned from a series of injuries, and there was much rejoicing. The team went on to win a championship that season — not that long ago, really.
Ever since then, the NBA hot-take industry — a pernicious gaggle of halfwit pundits that is equal parts short bus and Long Plastic Hallway — has been falling all over itself to declare Klay washed up. And sure: He is 33 now and not quite the two-way terror he used to be. He also led the league in made three-pointers least season and is near the top again this year.
A few days ago Cecil sent me this thing from The Website That Shall Not Be Named. It pretty much sums up how I feel, all the more eloquently for its poor grasp of English:
The haters can FUCK OFF. Excuse the capitals but I get emotional on this issue. LET KLAY PLAY.
I have spoken. Over and out.