Being a Warriors fan must be relatively easy, at least compared to most other teams in any other sport. You already have three championships in the bag. The greatest regular season ever. Quite probably the greatest team ever in whichever iteration with Kevin Durant you choose. Back in the Finals after only two years in the wilderness, Very likable coach, no obvious assholes on the roster.
But as any fan knows, it’s never quite enough. You always want to see your team win, and that thirst is never completely slaked. No one ever just shrugs off losses and reflects on only the happy times. The job is never done.
I don’t know what percentage of Warriors fans are in-the-weeds, cleaning the glass, hardcore fans. I’m sure there was a time when it was most of them, and I’m sure that time isn’t now. They’re still there, they’re just shrouded in people who want to be part of the party. It’s a natural phenomenon.
If you know your shit, then you know all the things that Draymond Green does that helps the Warriors win. You can see the defensive rotations, the instincts, the passing, the effort. It’s not always on the cover of the magazine, but it’s there in the middle if you look for it.
But there have to be times when it’s infuriating, right? I’m not a Warriors fan, though I’ll side with them over anything Boston if only so I can write that to piss my Bostonian friends off. I’m not really an in-the-weeds hoops guy either, though I’d like to be. So I miss a lot of the under-the-radar things that Green does to help win a basketball game. Sometimes I see through the Matrix, sometimes I don’t.
But it’s not life or death to me, it’s just an evening’s entertainment. What if it really matters to you? It has to be akin to getting a shot to the nuts whenever you see him rise up for a jumper from anywhere on the floor. It’s not going in, and you know it, and something must’ve gone wrong for it to have happened at all. You know that he knows it, and it must be more upsetting to think that he doesn’t know. I suppose Dubs fans can explain away watching Al Horford or Robert Williams III grabbing rebounds over him because he’s only 6-foot-5, and NBA 6-5, but yet getting rebounds is sort of his job. It must get even more infuriating watching Draymond yap to anyone around when he’s not doing the things that make that yapping tolerable. He’s not living up to his end of the trade, which is you’ll put up with the bullshit if he does all the little things. Without the little things, you’re just sifting through bullshit.
And then you get to the end of nights like this, which are…well, in one picture:
Perhaps his teammates have taken some class, or just through repetition, or maybe Steve Kerr has instilled some sort of meditation where they just tune out and/or accept Green’s ravings at officials as part of the deal. But can every fan? Doesn’t the urge to yell, “Man just shut the fuck up!” physically cause one’s skull to swell? There’s no way every Warriors fan can suppress it. Sometimes you must wonder if he isn’t really yelling at himself. Sometimes he probably is.
I’m guessing most Dubs supporters just take the word of others they assume are in the know that Draymond is that vital, which he is most nights. And his game probably was never going to age all that well, now that he’s firmly in his 30s. Perhaps they’ve all accepted that. It was a hell of a run. But there have to be moments, or nights, when even though all that you know as a Warriors fan clashed with what you feel. You watch Draymond’s highest total on a night be his fouls and conversations with refs and there have to be palpitations. Where all that training you put yourself through so you could say you truly understand how the Warrior work is forgotten, and you’re just throwing things at the TV and wishing any teammate would grab him by the neck and make it clear how tired everyone is.
Maybe they’re only fleeting nights. Maybe that feeling is always bubbling under the surface and erupts every so often. Maybe it’s what being part of the Golden State brigade unique. I know it’s a journey.
Though they’ve fired Joe Maddon, the Angels apparently aren’t out from under his spell yet.
Let’s hope they lose 46 in a row now.