There are worse problems to have as a basketball team than the lingering hangover and lousy vibes that come with a half-decade of all-devouring dominance. In the abstract, that doesn’t really sound like a problem at all—being slowly spoiled by overwhelming success is, on balance, a much better way to go than being flattened by failure. But you wind up flat and sour either way, and the Golden State Warriors are both of those things even as they remain the favorites to win yet another NBA Championship. It’s true that they seem to kind of hate each other, and also that Kevin Durant’s mysterious non-contact injury is worrying, and it is also true that, even with a 3-2 advantage they have been made extremely uncomfortable by the Houston Rockets. But they are also the Warriors, which means that they’ve been great enough for long enough that any failure to win another championship will feel more like a referendum on their case of success-spoilage and The Vibes than anything else.
It’s not exactly fun to watch, but as subtexts go it does make for interesting reading. With that in mind we invited obstreperous site uncle Ray Ratto, an expert in both Bay Area sports and uneasy vibes, to talk to us about the Warriors’ present and future, and what it is about Houston that so bothers them. At the risk of spoilers, it’s not the stupid memos!
Technical issues prevented Ray from staying on for this week’s Funbag session, which is probably for the best. At the risk of embarrassing him or myself, Ratto has been a hero of mine as a writer for many years and is someone I like a lot personally from our previous interactions, and I’m not sure I needed him on the line while I earnestly tried to answer a reader question like, “If your farts and poops stopped smelling bad, would you tell a doctor?” It’s just much easier to talk about that sort of thing with Drew. This is not because I respect Drew any less, really. It’s mostly just that I know the guy loves to talk about farts and poops.
Our double-strength detour through the funbag also left the bathroom for long enough to tackle other important questions: the worst and most mismatched broadcasting teams in sports, which sport would be least terrifying to officiate at a high level, and whether President Donald Trump has ever watched the movie Borat. I won’t pretend to know what the deal is with the Warriors, and I expect to be roughly this unsure until they either win a championship or don’t, but I was pretty confident in my answer on that last one.
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