#52 Five in a row

My favorite basketball team is the Golden State Warriors. They’ve won 3 of the last 4 NBA titles, and last night they secured another Finals berth for the 5th straight time. Just incredible, not seen since the 60s with the Boston Celtics.

A lot of people always think, whatever, you’re just another bandwagon Warriors fan… you just like them because they are winning. False… I like to tell my story to people if they ask for it, especially when they say something similar to the above. When I came to San Francisco in 2007, one of my bucket list items was to attend an NBA game, and the Warriors happened to be playing right across the Bay in Oakland. So, I bought tickets to the Warriors-Suns game (with MVP Steve Nash at the time) and went purely to enjoy the game, the atmosphere and to experience ‘Murica at its best. And I wasn’t disappointed, that year the famous We Believe team qualified for the last spot in the playoffs, and eventually beat the #1 seed Dallas. Ok they lost the next round, but it was amazing to watch. So I decided, I’m gonna be a Warriors fan moving forward, these guys are pretty good! Boy was I wrong… Little did I know that 2007 was the year the Warriors made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years… And little did I know that the Warriors had a 30 year history of being plain awful. How could I know? All they showed in Holland was Michael Jordan with the Bulls and Rik Smits, plus I hadn’t really followed the NBA in a few years.

The next year in 2008 the Warriors barely missed out on the playoffs, and then management started dismantling the team. The year after that I think the Warriors only won 25 games out of 82 or something absurd like that. But we never stopped watching, never stopped rooting, we went to quite a few games (tickets were super cheap then still), and we always thought they’d beat the champion Lakers when the Warriors played them… but they always lost – often with a gut wrenching Kobe buzzer beater. And the Warriors were bad for years to come. Until they got new ownership in place, yet they were so arrogant talking about winning right away that it was laughable, especially when they traded their most popular player for an injured center, leaving the team with the next best player – an always injured point guard named Steph Curry – along with a lot of really, really bad players…

Anyways, the ownership got a new coach, drafted new players, traded for new players, and eventually they made the playoffs again! And that was the beginning of what now is a dynasty as they love to call it in the US when a team wins for a few years in a row. It’s been a ton of fun to watch Curry, Klay, Dray, Iggy, and Kevin Durant. And who knows what happens over the next few years, but they are just so good that I just doubt that any team can beat them. And I’m not saying that as a fan. Ok maybe just a little bit…

The photo above I took from the best seats we ever had at Oracle Arena, it was an awful game which the Warriors lost to the Suns by 30 or something ridiculous – they were just bad. But it is fun to see the only guy who is still on today’s team, Steph Curry, sitting in the middle. Now he’s a 3-time champ, 2-time MVP, and the greatest shooter of all time. Watching him shooting threes from anywhere on the court is just mesmerizing to watch, especially in person. I seriously can’t wait to see what else he has in store, truly one of the greatest athletes I’ve ever witnessed. (February 2011)

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