Warriors Fans Need a Reminder: Shut Up and Enjoy the Show
The Golden State Warriors are simultaneously the most loved, most hated and most heavily scrutinized team in the NBA. It’s also true that the Dubs are the best team the league has ever seen. Period.
It took all of 2.5 seconds after the Golden State Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazes in the Western Conference Finals for the social media monsters to rear the ugly heads, but that’s nothing new. Throughout the regular season, foes and fans alike were quick to pick apart and pick on every missed shot, every hurt finger or calf, every temper flare, every tense eye dart. These guys have been such a pantheon of shooting perfection, defensive supremacy and harmonious vibes that anything resembling a blemish brings out the couch coach wolves en masse.
Post-season just amplifies that.
Everybody has something to say about KD and whether the team’s (eeked-by) success without him on the court will send him packing for the New York Knicks.
Draymond definitely told the Portland bench that the Warriors don’t need KD. pic.twitter.com/3CxQ4BPeWo
— Julian Council (@JulianCouncil) May 21, 2019
But, here’s the thing about couch coaches (myself included), we just need to shut the hell up and let these guys do what they do best. You want to know what Draymond Green, the lion heart of team (best defensive player and arguably MVP), has to say about the nonsense allegations that they’re better of without KD?
Green told NBC Sports:
“It’s very idiotic. I don’t think there’s one person in this locker room, one person in this organization that thinks that. And I know for damn sure that any idiot that does possibly (say) it don’t believe it.”
Yes, KD is eligible to jump ship this summer but if you think his teammates pulling off the win in his absence, getting him closer to another ring while he nurses an injury, will be the nail in his free agent coffin, you might want to rethink that logic. Rumor mills swirl with speculation of KD and Klay Thompson leaving. And you know what? They just might. But if you believe either of them are bitter about being part of the best team in the league’s history, please do yourself a favor and sit down.
After Klay’s playoff performance, it’s pretty likely he’ll get the contract he’s looking for, and he’ll deserve it. Once KD gets back in the game, he’ll remind people why he is one of the greatest players of all time and why the rest of the team is damn happy to have all 7′ 5″ of unstoppable wingspan wearing the blue and gold.
Do they have some dynamics to work out when KD is back on the court? Maybe. But they have the same readjustment period any time another player with enormous talent gets thrown into the rotation – just like they’ll go through when DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins eventually makes it back.
Here’s the thing. We know for a fact that Stephen Curry is a smiling beast among men, who can put up 3’s like it’s simple and play defense like he’s 2-foot taller than he is. We know that Klay will come through – he always does. We know that Draymond will play the shit out of that game and that his energy is not only infectious, it’s imperative. But we also know that the Splash Brothers will have slumps and it’s inevitable that injuries will take out star players. KD is an important part of this team, not just because he’s the undeniable talent that he is, but because he wanted to be here.
You know when Andre Iguodala is missing from action – you can feel it in the defensive holes and in morale. Shaun Livingston quietly and humbly does his part when he’s called on. If you think any of these players (deep bench included) are less than amazing, you’re lying to yourself. Any one of these guys is a star on his own, but it is this particular franchise that transforms solo stars into team legends.
As far as I’m concerned, we need just about every player who suits up for the Warriors. It is not about one person and never has been. The combination of star power under the coaching genius of Steve Kerr is a magical moment in sports history that we are fortunate enough to witness in our own time. But even Kerr is not safe from toxic analysis.
People were moaning when the coach played the regular season rotation during playoff games. They complained when he let the guys call their own plays back in February against the Suns. But chu know what?? It worked and it continues to work. Would his coaching style be as effective with another team? Maybe not. But considering the Warriors are the first team to advance to the Finals for five consecutive years, ever, I’d say he’s doing something right.
When we’re staring down Game 3 without KD, Boogie or Iggy – guess who comes through to save the day? The bench, the fantastically talented bench. That’s who. Kerr plays in Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook and pretty much every other guy during important minutes, not just because he’s lazy in rotation planning, but because he needs them to show up when it matters – he needs them to know how important they are in the bigger picture and to feel trusted when it counts.
That is what makes this team better than any other. It will never be about one star because one star will always have bad days, and one star cannot play the game on his own. Players will come and go for myriad of reasons, but if you think any one of them will ever regret the time they played together in that arena as part of the team that “destroyed the game,” I suggest you think again.
Who knows if they’ll beat the Bucks or Raptors? Who knows which players will be on the roster next season? What I do know is that I’m thankful every time I get to watch this team play, with single every star and rising star we’re blessed with. Even us fans get a little hypercritical – we seem to forget just how special this team is and how fortunate we are to be part of the Dub Nation at this point in time. So, let’s take it down a notch, be appreciative and enjoy the damn show.