Evolution of a Warriors Fan

The Warriors juggernaut continues, and what a root for starts to shift. Is it in a good way?

Source: Givemesport

 I remember last June, I stood at the Richmond station waiting for BART to take me to Oracle so I could watch my Golden State Warriors play in game 1 of the NBA Finals. So I could watch my Golden State Warriors play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Did you read that correctly? Yes, you did, but one more time for dramatic effect: So I could watch my Golden State Warriors play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. I was decked out in Warriors gear, as was everyone around me. The excitement in the air was palpable, and this wasn’t even at the stadium, this was just a BART station in freaking Richmond. Nobody could really believe we were here, that this was really happening. The Warriors? Could they really be this good? Or would it all come crumbling down? Fate was good to the Bay on that day...They won game 1, and then they won three out of the next five. Now they’re reigning NBA champions.

Almost a year later, the Warriors sit at 68-7 atop the Western Conference yet again. Nobody in their right mind can deny that Curry is one of the most offensively potent player of all time, and he’s leading a versatile, unselfish, disciplined roster that’s favored against any opponent. At times, the Warrior’s dominance feels like it might be unavoidable and inevitable. Maybe the fans of this downtrodden franchise can embrace the fact that this is the best team in the NBA and the envy of the league. Now that the Warriors have gone 150-28 in the last two seasons, including the playoffs, it finally seems like Warriors fans can not only accept the winning, but can expect it.

But I hope we don’t.

  Last night I was crouched around the TV with some friends, watching the Warriors play a game too close for comfort against the Jazz. They were down by double digits for a while, and the gap closed only at a snail’s pace. Suddenly, there were only 2 minutes to go and the game was only tied. Curry and co. hadn’t summoned that blitzing run I had grown so accustomed to. This game was still yet to be decided. With the clock ticking on, Curry missed a three, and Hayward hit one in return. I was nervous, officially now. We had records to chase, and glory to achieve. The Jazz couldn’t get in the way of that! Not now.

Of course, the Warriors did what these Warriors have done so excessively well. They made great plays just in the nick of time. Klay got two open looks from three to tie the game with only seconds left, and he wasn’t going to miss them both. As he finally hit the shot, I leapt out of my chair, inadvertently stomped on the foot of the poor soul next to me, pumped my fist into the air, and shouted something entirely unintelligible. To overtime we went! And there was no doubt in my mind that Overtime was Warriors time.

Once the game was over, and I had finally collected my thoughts and cleaned myself up, I started to think about the moment that Klay tied the game. I played it over again in my head. I was thinking specifically about my reaction. What had I been cheering for when that shot went in? Was I rooting for a Warriors’ win? Or was I rooting against a loss??

 I remember standing at that BART station last year for a reason. A man even more decked out than I came up to me at the side of the track and said, “This is great, isn’t it?” I agreed that it was. It was so great that two strangers at a BART station just had to talk about it. Then he asked, “So, will you be disappointed at this point if we lose?”

What a question that was. The Warriors were favored to knock off Lebron James and be the 2015 NBA champions. They were only four games away. If they blew this opportunity...well of course I should be disappointed! But somehow that’s not what came out of my mouth. Instead I said, “Nope. No way. This season has been too great to be disappointed.”

The man thought about that for a moment, and then nodded. “Yup, you’re right. What a ride this has been.” And the conversation ended there. Because we were Warriors fans. We had been through far too much to take anything for granted, or to take anything away from our Western Conference Champions. The lowlights of being a Warriors fan for the last twenty years are well documented. Everyone knows that Latrell Sprewell was our last All-Star before David Lee, before he choked out our coach. Everyone remembers losing Gilbert Arenas, the most exciting Warrior in forever, and watching him blossom into Agent Zero. We are all aware that Chris Cohan was a cheap and disengaged owner, as bad as any in professional sports. In 17 years from 1995-2012, the Warriors averaged 30 wins a season, and made the playoffs one time. Everything the Warriors had done in my lifetime absolutely paled in comparison to what 2015 Warriors accomplished. Hosting a Finals game was more than the old me could ever ask for.

Now though... I wonder what I will say if the Warriors make their way back to Finals, with the greatest regular season record of all time. Before game 1, some stranger might ask if I’ll be disappointed, if the Warriors lose. I hope my answer is the same as it was before. I hope I say “Of course not! Not after everything this team has accomplished!” But I worry I won’t say that. Now, two seasons into this impossibly compelling and likable iteration of the Golden State Warriors, I worry I may have come to expect greatness. And that feels like a thoroughly sinful thing for a Warriors fan to expect. I’m writing this article to remind myself how far this team has come, so I don’t expect a thing. So I just enjoy the ride.


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